Six (6) Simple And Important Online Safety Rules To Protect Yourself While Using Facebook in PNG.

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Facebook is most popular social media platform being used in Papua New Guinea. Through Facebook, people have formed groups of interest, for business, for school, news, current issues like corruption, jobs and host of others. Majority of the users are mainly  younger generation who are in school and working.  Whether, you are tech savvy generation youth or more less technology oriented person who prefer the more conservative view of technology, Facebook is here and it’s influence is huge. The world knows the power of  social media influence and it’s impact on society. That is the reason why Facebook founder Executive Officer , Mark Zuckerberg, speaks  in World Forums like the World Economic Forum, United Nations sponsored conferences and other important World Leaders conference. He represents millions of users in each country that uses Facebook. So, whether you like it or not Facebook will surely have some influence in your life as a student, employee or a private citizen. So, what is more important is how can you protect yourself online and still use Facebook for whatever your purpose for using it. This article explains the simple but fundamental online privacy protection measures you can use in a PNG Facebook User context.

Expansion of Internet Penetration and Reduction of Internet Cost in PNG.

With the expansion of internet gateway (Coral Sea Cable) project undertaken by DataCo PNG Ltd, (connecting PNG to rest of the World via Sydney in Australia), internet penetration is set to increase and most of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Telikom PNG, Digicel, BMobile PNG LightSpeed and others will reduce the price of internet connectivity. This means more and more PNGeans will able to access internet via their smart phones, laptops and at workplaces. This will translate into more users to be able to use Facebook at a lower cost because Facebook is a internet social media platform.

Online Privacy and Security

While enjoying the benefit of connecting with friends, accessing information and contributing to generation of contents (posts, comments, likes, tagging, shares etc), every users in PNG must  be aware of some of the dangers Facebook brings to their individual lives and take and necessary protection measures to prevent it. Here are some of the most basic but important measures a user can take.

No# 1: Log Out After Each Session

Every time you finished using Facebook, it’s a must you log out. Particularly, when using your mobile phone or work PC, public PCs (eg PCs an Internet Café ). Most common mistake people make is, they just close the Facebook window on the Browser or Facebook App window. They do that because they don’t want to login with user name and password again every time they want to use Facebook again. That reasoning is a  security risk to your Facebook account. Log out (means lock your account), just like you would lock your office, drawer, or room door. Just ‘because, it’s your personal phone, laptop or workstation  doesn’t  mean you leave your Facebook account open. If your phone  or  PC, is stolen, the risk of someone accessing your account is higher if you don’t Log out after each session. Even if you want to exit for few minutes, get into the habit of using the Log Out button. Don’t blame others or Facebook if your account was accessed by an unwanted user, if you haven’t Log Out.

No# 2: Post less Photos

Getting lots of likes on your photos in your posts doesn’t make you a star. It doesn’t matter whether you are pretty, handsome or ugly. You did not choose your family, clan, province and race/culture. Be proud of your identity as it is. So, post less photos. Hackers can create a whole new profile of you with a new Facebook account with your very own photos. Also, your photos can be used for unwanted purposes by others without your consent.

No# 3: Don’t Live Two Identities

Yes, we want to look younger, nice, prettier, smarter, whatever it is, present yourself in your Facebook account the real you. Potential recruiters can use Facebook to see your interest, personality and the real you. Another downside is your genuine friends might lose their trust and confidence in you because they are also confused which one is really you.

No# 4: Your Friend’s Friend Is Not Your Friend

Remember, Facebook has so many users. So be careful when accepting Friend requests. Your friend’s friend is not your friend. Every time you receive a friend request. Don’t press the Accept or Decline, button. Check the their Profile first and look at their photos, their friends list (see if people you know or friends are also his/her friend), Then decide whether to Decline or Accept. If you see no photos of him/her on the profile, simply ignore it. It the request is from another country without a slightest connection, ignore it. Chances of you meeting that person is in real life or visiting his/her country is very slim.

No# 5: Know the Difference Between Comments and Conversation.

When someone comments on your posts, don’t respond and start a conversation. Take your conversation to the Message box. That’s the reason why Facebook put the message box. Utilize it to privately converse with your genuine friends.  Don’t broadcast your message that is intended for whoever that comment, to all your friends by replying back and forth. It can turn your relationships into a sour soup.

Also, don’t message to a someone who is not your friend at all. Who knows, you might be messaging a drug addict or someone with other motives.

No# 6: Don’t Tag Friends Without Their Consent.

It good to share moments of celebrations and outings with friends. However, posting direct as your post is far better than tagging your friends accounts. You might reveal something that might spark a tension or negative reaction on the tagged friend’s friend. Remember, by tagging you are sharing the post on the tagged friends wall. Everybody understands the same object (posts) differently. Particularly for wives and husbands, boy and girl friends, church friends and etc.

No# 7: Don’t Follow Groups or Pages That Doesn’t Share Your Values.

Simple, don’t ever thought of following a face book group or page that doesn’t share or connect with your own values and life in general. For example, if you are faithful Christian, don’t follow another type of religious group or yoga belief groups. Why, by following, whatever the group or page posts, will appear on your wall as news-feed. That can cause a lot of headaches for you. Some good friends may even unfriend you if those news-feeds offend them.

These measures are simple to implement and please enjoy your next Facebook session with points in mind.