The intention of Facebook is for people to share their experiences, connect with friends and family and build communities. It is also a space for the more than two billion users to freely express themselves, and to feel empowered to communicate without being a target for abuse.
Unfortunately, there are people who abuse this “privilege” and use it to harass, abuse, stalk and bully people online.
As users, it is our responsibility to keep our profiles clean and safe so that we don’t become targets of offenders. Below are reminders of how to keep safe on Facebook.
- Familiarize yourself with Facebook privacy shortcuts and settings.
- Learn how to recognize sensitive content and behaviour and how to report.
5 Simple rules to stay safe online:
- Never share your password
- Think before you post
- Adjust your privacy settings and review them often
- Only accept friend requests from people you personally know
- Report things that look suspicious
What to do if you’re being bullied, harassed or abused by someone on Facebook:
- Unfriend the person and make sure that only your Facebook friends can contact you through Facebook chat or post on your timeline (Settings)
- Block the person and this will prevent the person from adding you as a friend and viewing things you share on your timeline. They will not be able to find you on Facebook nor will you see them.
- Report the person or anything abusive posts they have posted
The most important thing is to be able to recognise bullying and harassment and put a stop to it immediately.
- Don’t retaliate. Most bullies or abusers are looking to you for a reaction so don’t give them one.
- Don’t be silent. Reach out to a trusted person, a close friend, family member, teacher, counsellor who can give you help and support.
- Document the bullying. Print it or take a screenshot of it in case you need to share it with someone at a later stage or need it as evidence.
- Report to SAPS