Social Media safely

Part 1: Facebook

According to Statistica approximately 50% of Facebook users in the UK are over the age of 34. Still the most popular age group at 25% are in the age group 25-34 years old. This age group is internet savvy having grown up with the development of online social media. Despite some tragic mistakes, they have learned and taught each other the best ways to avoid conflict, breaches of privacy and how to identify fake news or trolls. They resent keyboard warriors who try to use social media for political ends.
The rest of us are trying to catch up with them.

When creating a Facebook account you will need to supply a profile picture. If you then want to create a business page choose one that clearly identifies you as a real person. Facebook can really help small businesses but you need to create your own Facebook presence and gather your own set of friends. Link up with people you know and have met face-to-face.


Go to your Facebook settings and change the notifications so that your email inbox does not constantly fill up with emails from Facebook every time a friend makes a post or a cat sneezes.


Go to your Facebook settings and change the your privacy setting to private. Be careful to read through can close down all options. I recommend making you email address, telephone number and date of birth only visible to yourself. Anything else can be friends only. Friends of Friends can open up wider discussion but if you want something to be broadcast because you have a lost dog on your doorstep just change that single post to ‘Public’ for the single post you are making to find the owner.

Fake News

Identifying fake news can be difficult. “On average, users over 65 shared nearly seven times as many articles from fake news domains as the youngest age group” said researchers. However, before you share anything please check when it was first published, scroll down a read a few comments and just check for updates (the dog is now happily reunited with its owner). Check the original source of the post; do you know the political motives of the initiator or agree with his religious stance? Some stories can be checked out on websites listed below.
Full Fact
Urban Myths

NB On 1/2/2019 it was announced that Assocated Press and Snopes are no longing working with Facebook see BBC News for further details. That does not mean they are not able to verify or deny news. As with all sources caution is the watchword.


Facebook is great for contacting long lost school pals, seeing your grandchildren in Australia and finding local news, local history and even selling unwanted furniture. Enjoy it, use it. Book a visit if you want help with your privacy settings and you live in Worcestershire. Remote support and tuition is possible if you are further away.

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day is 5th February 2019

Safer internet day

In the last week, I have been contacted by two individuals who have been hacked and paid money to telephone scammers. They dutifully followed telephone instructions and allowed access to their laptop. One was charged £3.99 and the other £20. These are small amounts but the greater danger is in the bank details being handed over. One device was blocked when the password was changed.

In the event of being caught by this deception, switch off your computer or router to prevent any further access to your data. Next, report to the police on 101 and contact your bank on their fraudline and explain what has happened. Then get a trusted local person to remove any unauthorised remote access to the computer and run full virus scans. It can take about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours to run a scan using a utility such as malwarebytes Look at recently installed programs or apps to see if anything new has been installed, run a cleaner utility, remove any adware and check that the anti-virus software and firewall are up-to-date.

Avoiding the issues

  • Change your router SSID and key make a hand written record of it.
  • Always password protect your computer/device
  • Remember Microsoft and BT cannot tell if you have a virus
  • Never save passwords for your bank accounts
  • Only let trusted people have access to your device
  • Buy online using Paypal or a credit card (avoid using a debit card).
  • Get help in managing your privacy settings on social media