To avoid or embrace Social Media…that is the question.

Well, if part of the intent of Lesson 2 was to confirm my worst suspicions about social media, it succeeded!

All the reasons I’m afraid of social media were there – the scams, the risk of sharing information that I shouldn’t, and the risk of compromising my computer. There it all was – in black and white. Until now, I just thought I was “behind the times” but, in fact, most of the articles validated my fears and concerns and hence my inclination to avoid most social media.

However, as I made my way through the articles, I found myself calming down somewhat. It was interesting to learn that Facebook has implemented processes to detect issues with users’ accounts and has a recent partnership with McAfee. The most useful article was almost buried in a link at the bottom of Joan Goodchild’s article; I highly recommend the article “How to Write Good Passwords” by Sarah Scalet:

I learned other things, too, that I can do to protect myself – I’m going to start being a little more cognizant of some of those little quizzes etc…on Facebook that are so tempting (though I did enjoy finding out that I’m most like Kanga, from Winnie-the-Pooh). And, maybe just taking a bit more time to figure out the privacy settings. I think in this fast-paced, busy world I tend to just sit down, open an account (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…) and do not make the time to figure out what I can do to protect my computer and myself. If the “Help Centres” themselves are hard to navigate, there is guidance available to help understand and set settings. For example, I found two articles pretty easily on setting both Facebook and LinkedIn privacy settings:

So, at the end of the lesson, I was starting to realize that maybe social media is not the big, scary thing I’ve made it to be. With some new found knowledge and tricks and tips, maybe instead of avoiding it, I will learn to embrace it – or at least warm up to it a bit. We’ll see…it is only Week 3!