How to Stop Social Media Stalking
Social media can be a great thing. You can keep up with friends and family, even with celebrities and trendsetters. But there are downsides to social media. Privacy is a large concern for all of us online these days, and social media should be no different. That's why we're taking a look at social media stalking, and how to stop it.
Let's say you've had a bad break up. Or maybe you've fallen out with a friend, or even a family member. It can be pretty easy these days for people to see what you've been up to, even if you don't want them to. From your Facebook feed to your Tweets, keeping things private from people you don't want following you can be tougher than you might think.
So just what are you supposed to do if you want your social media posts to stay private? Well, that depends on which service you're using. We've got the low-down on how to stay private on the top four social media sites. And that means that you can post in peace, knowing that your scary ex won't turn up by surprise at your next big event…
Facebook makes social media stalking easy since most people just use their real names. However, the site also makes it pretty easy to stop others from seeing what you're up to, which seems like a fair trade-off. And you've got a fair few options here.
Firstly, you'll want to make sure that your posts aren't public. Just hit the question mark icon in the top right corner, hit “privacy shortcuts”, then change “who can see my posts” to “friends.” That means that only people you actually friend are able to see what you're doing. If you haven't friended someone, this is all you need to do.
If you have friended someone, maybe an ex, then the simplest solution is to unfriend them. You'll need to go to the Facebook page of the person in question, then in the middle right go to where it says “friends” and click, then select “unfriend.” You can always add them again as a friend later.
If you want to be truly safe, then you can block them. This means that you will no longer exist to them on Facebook, they won't see your posts, they won't even be able to see your profile if they search for your name. Go to the person's Facebook page, click the three little dots in the centre right, then hit “block.” Confirm and you're done.
If a person is abusing you or unduly bothering you, you can also report them to Facebook. Just go to the post they made that's abusive, hit the arrow at the top right of the post, and click “report.”
The easiest way of getting rid of people on Snapchat is to block them from seeing your Story, and this is simple. Open up the app, drag downwards and click the “settings” icon at the top right, then go to the section that says “who can.” Under the heading that says “see my story” click the word “custom” to the right and then simply click on the name of the person you want to block from seeing your Story. You can add them back later if you like.
If you want to completely block someone, so they don't show up in your friend's list anymore, you can do that too. Be aware that they won't be able to re-add you as a friend. Again, go to the settings page, then “my friends” then press and hold on the name you want to block. Choose “block,” confirm, and you're done.
You can report abuse on Snapchat, but since snaps only stick around for 24 hours, you'll need to be fast. This can't be done from the app, you'll need to visit the support page. Choose “policies and safety” and go from there.
Blocking on Instagram is a two-step process, but again, it's pretty simple. The first step is to block the person themselves. Go to the person's profile page and hit the three little dots at the top right, then hit “block” and confirm. Once that's done, you'll need to set your account to private so that anyone who tries to add you will need your confirmation (to stop the person just following you again). Go to your profile page, hit the three little dots at the top right, then toggle on “private account.” Your followers will see your stuff, everyone else will need to ask your permission first.
You can't report a user on Instagram, but you can report abusive posts. Go to the post in question, hit the three dots at the top right, then hit “report.”
Last, but not least, there's Twitter. Again, this is going to be a two-step process. Firstly, you'll need to block the person. Simply go to the profile of the person you want to block and hit the little gear icon that's next to the Follow button, then choose “block@username.” Done.
You can stop now, but there's nothing to stop the person just following you again. So again, you might want to make your Tweets private. Go to your profile, click the little circle with your profile pic at the top right, hit “settings and privacy.” On the menu that appears at the left hit “privacy and safety” then check the box next to “protect my Tweets.” Now only your followers see your stuff, and new followers will need your approval before seeing your Tweets. Done.
As long as you stay up to date with your online privacy, there's no reason that you should be stalked on social media. Whether it's a crazy ex or your disapproving mum, all you need to do is make sure your settings are correct, and you can post in peace.