When used responsibly, the Internet can be a perfectly safe place to explore. This is especially true with social media, which provides many positive opportunities to nurture friendships and connect with others. Social media isn’t without its dark sides, but you don’t have to let that force you to miss out on what the platform has to offer. It’s important to be able to find that sense of community online, especially in light of events like the coronavirus outbreak, or in other situations where it’s hard to see friends in person.

The important thing is to remain vigilant and monitor both you and your friends’ social media activity. Here are a couple of examples of how you can do just that:

Verify your friends’ identities

Not everyone stays in the same place all their life. Maybe you moved away from close friends when you were young, or you got a new job somewhere else and had to leave your social circle behind. When social media came about, people became able to rekindle old friendships with ease. And in a more modern turn, social media enabled people to become friends with others all over, even without having met them. There are plenty of heartwarming stories where this is the case.

But in all these situations, one must be aware of the possibility that the person you friended isn’t actually who they say they are. Instead, it’s someone posing as this person, hoping to scam and take advantage of users. But luckily, tools like MyLife may remove that worry. MyLife helps verify the identities of people you meet online, and for new connections, it can give you insight into their reputation that will help you decide whether or not they’re worth connecting with.

So before filling up your friend list with blasts from the past or new online buddies, confirm that they are who they say they are so that you can enjoy reconnecting without worry.

Be cautious when clicking links

One of the most popular ways that social media is used is by sharing articles or online posts that interest you with your friends. You know what it’s like to sit with your friends and chat about news or interesting things that you’ve read about recently — this is a direct extension of that. Just because you’re not face-to-face doesn’t mean you can’t have the same casual conversations with people you care about.

Of course, it isn’t always as straightforward as that. When a friend shares a link that takes you away from the secure social media site, there’s a chance that it could lead to something that threatens your security. Just by clicking on a malicious link, hackers can get access to your account and your information. That’s why you should pay close attention to what your friend is posting. Does the post seem like clickbait? Is it worded strangely? Is it not something that friend would normally post about? If this is the case, the best course of action would be to privately message your friend and ask them about the post. It could very well be the case that they themselves have been hacked and didn’t even know it. Or, they can let you know that everything is just fine. Either way, exercising caution when clicking on links can help make social media a little safer.

So you see? Social media isn’t all that scary. For every concern that arises, there is usually a way to avoid it through responsible and careful use of social media. At MyLife, we are on your side and do all we can to help you stay safe online so that you can share your lives with good friends without fear.