Social media is a powerful tool that can be helpful or hurtful. Managing your and your family’s social media use helps protect you from harm while allowing you to stay connected and control your private information.  Here are some tips to manage your social media accounts and protect yourself: 


Keep it Private – Adjust your social media setting to “private” so you can control who sees your posts and personal information. Ensure your camera, microphone, location, and sync contacts are switched to “off.” Review your privacy settings regularly. 


Password Protect – Ensure you have strong and unique passwords for each social media account. This protects you from getting hacked, but if you do get hacked, only one account will be impacted. You can use a password manager to help you have strong and unique passwords. 


Stop Before You Share – Just like you wouldn’t hand out personal information to strangers, be very careful about what you share on social media. Never share sensitive information on social media, like your home address, social security number, or banking information. 


Be Wary of Friend Requests – Don’t accept friend requests or communicate with someone you don’t know on social media. 


Limit Use – Limit your use of social media to a set number of hours each day. Do not use electronic devices, including social media, at least one hour before bedtime to help you sleep better. Stay away from sites or posts that have graphic or violent images. 


Protect Your Children – If your children have a smartphone or use social media, you will want to do certain things, so they are safe and protected: 

  • Discuss the risks of using social media, tell them what to be careful of, and when to come to you 
  • Install parental apps on their devices to ensure that certain sites are blocked 
  • Set media settings to private and turn off geolocation features 
  • Make sure their password is shared with you. Explain that access to a smartphone and social media is a privilege, and your access to their account is required. 
  • Limit use by setting a certain number of hours a day they can be on their phones. 
  • Limit smartphone and social media use to common areas in the house where you can monitor their online activity. 

To learn more about how social media can affect your mental health, read this Help Center article: