Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks. These are there to help you control who sees what you share online.
Protect yourself and your reputation on social media
Think before posting
- Think before posting things you wouldn’t want your family or potential employers to see.
- Remember that photos you share on social media can be saved or shared by others:
- this can happen without your permission and knowledge;
- do not post anything that could be used against you or put you in danger; and
- be cautious about posting photos of your children online.
Keep your account private
- It's a good idea to have a private account so you can control who sees your information.
- Keep in mind that anything could be shared with others by a follower and/or friend.
- Limit and be careful about what personal information you put on social media.
- The more information you post, the easier it could be for someone to use that information against you – they could stalk you or steal your identity.
If someone is harassing or threatening you
- Consider taking screenshots of harassment as evidence – the evidence could help if you take legal action.
- It’s a good idea to keep all evidence in a safe place or consider sending it to someone else for safe keeping.
- Remove harassers or stalkers from your friends or followers list and block them.
- Report the person to the site administrator and police, if applicable.
- Contact the police to find out what evidence they need, and report the abuse to them if you fear for your safety.
Update software and browsers
- Have current security software, web browser updates, and operating systems.
- Updates are the best way to prevent viruses and other online threats.
Be careful when accepting friend or follower requests
Only accept friend requests from people you know outside of social media. This avoids hackers, or acts of cat fishing (someone pretending to be someone they are not).
If you do not want people to know where you are
- Disable the location services on your device.
- Avoid "checking in" to places on social media.
- Ask anyone you are with not to check you in to places.
- If you have a friend who has reason to fear for their safety, don't post anything about them.
If you have a reason to fear for your safety
- Consider limiting social media use until you feel safer.
- Use social media if not using it will make your abuser suspicious..
- If you're using social media, do not post information about yourself and your situation.
- Avoid posting anything that could upset your abuser.
- Consider making your profiles private, if this won't make your abuser suspicious.
If your account has been hacked
- Change your password immediately.
- You may want to consider starting a new account if you're still worried.
- If you cannot get into your account, report this to the website administrator.
- If someone has set up a fake social media account in your name:
- report this to the site administrator as well;
- if the account is abusive or threatening, keep evidence of the abuse; and
- consider reporting it to the website administrator and/or the police.
To learn more about online safety
For children and youth: Cybertip – Online Safety
You can phone or drop in to talk to Victim Services (no appointment required) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In person: 301 Jarvis Street, 2nd floor
Toll free: 1-800-661-0408, extension 8500
In person: 813B 3rd Avenue
In person: 820 Adela Trail