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Using Social Media Safely

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Different social media channels are shown

Social media sites have exploded in the past few years, with everyone from large corporations to individuals utilizing the platforms to communicate.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have millions of users, and while there is great information to be shared, it also comes with a risk to your financial and personal safety.

Take the time to ensure you are using the security settings we recommend for the following sites:


  • Create a strong password
  • Disable location settings
  • Always use log in verifications
  • Avoid phishing attempts by ignoring direct messages from people you don't know. Be wary of odd messages from people you do know. It could be a sign their account has been hacked
  • Use anti-spyware products

Visit the Twitter security and privacy settings to ensure your profile is secure.


  • Use a strong password
  • Visit your profile from a friend's page and see how much information is accessible to them
  • Restrict who can post information about you to their timeline and reviews posts before they appear on your feed
  • Set up a security code to access your account
  • Add privacy settings for specific photos
  • Block people from being able to post to your timeline

Visit Facebook's security settings tab to secure your account.


  • Pick a strong password
  • Keep your profile pictures and personal information private
  • Disable the location services
  • Block people you don't know from viewing your account
  • Approve all pictures you're tagged in

Make sure you have all of your security settings turned on by reviewing Instagram's security page.


  • Choose a unique password
  • Set up a two-factor authentication system
  • Always look for the green Tumbler Inc. icon in your address bar
  • Make sure to log out, especially if you're using a public computer

Review all the security information on Tumblr to ensure your safety.


  • Tinder users should avoid displaying inappropriate or suggestive pictures
  • Users should never send a message or photo to another user that they would regret posting in public
  • When arranging a date, users should consider bringing a friend, or planning a group event to ensure their own safety
  • Users should never make others on Tinder aware of their exact location

Tinder is a location-based mobile app intended for casual dating with more than 10 million active daily users, typically aged 16-28.

Tinder is often used by teens and young adults to arrange casual encounters, dates, or simply to browse through pictures of local "matches". It is also used by sex workers to solicit services without the need for advertisement. Always use caution when meeting anyone you've met through social media channels.


  • Don't post videos that disclose personal information
  • Make sure to give yourself the option to approve all comments
  • Set up a strong password and protect your account data
  • Get permission before posting videos with other people

Remember, once something is posted to YouTube, it is out there for everyone to see. Visit YouTube's Safety Centre to ensure your channel is secure.


  • Just because the pictures delete in 10 seconds, it doesn't mean it's gone. Anyone can capture an image with a screenshot and save it to their device
  • Block unwanted users
  • Edit your privacy settings so only people you know and trust can see your images
  • Don't disclose your location when sending images

Take some time to read through Snapchat's privacy policies before you start sending images.


  • Use a personal firewall
  • Keep your computer updated with the latest security features
  • Strong passwords are your first line of defence
  • Be careful what you post in your profile as some parts are on public domain
  • Set the privacy level you are most comfortable with

Using Skype is a great way to keep in touch with your friends and family, but make sure to visit the Skype security section so you can chat safely.


  • Disable the Suggested Friends Features as it can forward your information to people
  • Ensure your profile picture doesn't disclose personal information about you, i.e. address, school, etc.
  • Block or ignore people you don't know
  • Don't share your password with anyone

Familiarize yourself with Kik's privacy policies so you know how to secure your account and your information.

Images of child exploitation online

Images of child exploitation online can reported by contacting

Operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection,'s mandate is to protect children from online sexual exploitation by:

  • Receiving and processing tips from the public about potentially illegal material, as well as activities regarding the online sexual exploitation of children, and referring any relevant leads to the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or child welfare agency; and;
  • Providing the public with information and other resources, as well as support and referral services, to help Canadians keep themselves and their families safe while using the Internet.

If you, or someone you know, needs help removing a sexual picture or video of themselves from the Internet, visit NeedHelpNow.