So Many Social Channels: Be Smart. Be Safe.

So Many Social Channels! Be Smart. Be Safe.
So Many Social Channels! Be Smart. Be Safe.

The many online social channels have become a global information network that undoubtedly has many benefits. However, with this increased exposure, it is vital to make sure students are wise and remain safe as they post information online.

At College Connections, we help students and families navigate through the college admission process. With so many available social channels, we advise our students not to post information or pictures about themselves online that they would not want the whole world to know.

This is especially important when students are applying to college. Negative or inappropriate posts may be seen by admission officers and affect an admissions decision. Students must realize that many people may see their posts including teachers, employers, and college admission officers.

Some college admission representatives (and employers), will research students online to see if there is data available to help make an admission decision. Once data is online, it stays online. Even when something is deleted, it may stay on another’s computer.

Colleges post current information and chat with students across numerous social channels. Staying educated on the best way to use websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram and Tumblr may protect students from potential problems and increase their chances of admission into their top choice colleges and find the best college fit for them. Chat rooms, blogs, emails and instant messaging are other factors where students need to be aware of appropriate measures. Colleges post photos, virtual tours, event information and mention various programs at their universities. This is valuable information for students doing the college search looking to gain information on colleges.

In addition to being smart online to increase chances of being admitted into colleges and obtaining a job, there are security risks when using the internet and social media websites.

Here are some tips for taking extreme precaution and remaining safe online and learning to use social channels beneficially:

  • Join sites where you can keep your information private and restrict access based on approval.
  • Make sure that only information you are comfortable revealing is posted. Be extremely careful; about posting personal information such as your full name, address, phone number, social security number or any bank or credit card information.
  • Monitor what you post regarding the name of your school, club or sports team as sometimes people can be identified using this information
  • Try not to post your photo online. Pictures can be altered and used in unacceptable ways
  • Don’t make friends with strangers online unless you know the resource. People may not always be honest about who they really are.

Communicate with your parents…ask questions and tell them what you are doing online. Use privacy settings, create strong passwords and be skeptical about things you read online.

Follow these tips to be smart and safe social media users, navigate the many social channels and maximize your opportunities for college acceptance and career.