With COVID-19 limiting some of the ways people can meet and be with friends and loved ones, social media might be more tempting to many seniors. Whether you were on Facebook before this year or are venturing into social media waters for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, there are some rules that can help you stay safe online.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to wear a mask or worry about social distancing. Social media like Facebook is actually a very safe way to connect with others when it comes to physical concerns like catching an illness.
At Bethesda Gardens assisted living community in Fort Worth, however, we take a holistic approach to the health and wellness of all our residents. Certainly, we care about physical health, but we also work to support mental, emotional and spiritual health to ensure seniors can live a vibrant, enjoyable life within and without the community.
To that end, we’re providing seven dos and don’ts to follow if you venture onto Facebook.
In the Facebook app on your computer, click the down arrow at the top right of the screen. On mobile, click the three horizontal lines in the same location.
In either case, scroll down until you see “Settings and Privacy” and click. Click “Settings” and then find and click “Privacy.”
Here are some settings you may want to consider and why.
• Considering setting any “who can see” option to “Friends.” That means that only people you have accepted as a friend on Facebook can see this information. Otherwise, anyone who has an account can see your posts.
• For the questions that ask if you want to review posts you’re tagged in, you can select the option for “Use activity log” if you want greater control. This means if someone else tags you in a post, for that post to show up on your timeline and to your friends, you have to approve it. This is a good option if you don’t want people tagging you in information or images that you might not agree with.
• Under the “How People Can Find and Contact You” section, you can limit who can find you on Facebook. If you want to keep it to just close friends and family, you can set “Who can send you friend requests” to only “Friends of friends.” That means the person has to be friends with someone you’re friends with even to reach out to you. You can also limit who can find you by other information.
These settings help limit who can see your information on Facebook.
While there’s a lot of fun to be had on social media, there are also scams and scammers. One popular Facebook scam is for someone to steal a person’s name and some of their pictures. They then make another account that looks like that person’s account and start friending all the people on the original person’s friends list.
They do this to be able to see everything you post and try to find information that can be used in scams and identity theft.
If someone requests to be your friend on Facebook and you think you’re already friends, reach out to that person first. Confirm whether it’s really them making the request.
Even with high privacy settings, what you share on Facebook is seen by a wide variety of people. They can also copy that information or take screenshots of it. Screen shots are like a digital photograph of the screen, including any photograph or text you post.
So, keep that in mind when you’re sharing. It’s typically a good idea not to share anything you don’t want other people to know, even if you’re not friends with them on Facebook.
Another popular scam involves people sending messages through Facebook Messenger. This is the part of Facebook that lets you send messages directly to other people.
The scam messages contain seemingly alarming information that is usually untrue. It also says that you should forward those messages to everyone you’re friends with. Since that’s the advice, typically you got the message from someone you were friends with, so it seems trustworthy. But they were only forwarding it following those instructions.
It’s best to ignore these types of messages. You should also never click on any links in messages like this.
If you’re not sure something is true, don’t share it on Facebook. Social media is full of incorrect information. It’s better to do your own research before sharing more of the same.
It’s simply good manners to ask others before you post their face on social media. When you’re taking the picture, simply ask if you can post it to your private Facebook page for friends and family only.
It might seem like there are a lot of rules, but if you follow common sense, you can have fun and be safe on social media. Sign up for an account and connect with others today.