Is social networking safe for children

Safe on the move in social networks

For many people, social media is an easy way to exchange ideas and keep in touch. The DsiN tips explain what needs to be observed for safe use.
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Photo credits: Fotolia

Millions of people in Germany use social media to keep in touch with family, friends and acquaintances, to network professionally, or just to share impressions from their everyday lives. At 46 percent, almost every second person in Germany uses social networks.

According to a study on trust in the media, however, only 41 percent of users trust online platforms. The DsiN security index shows that social media are in third place among all online activities when it comes to feelings of insecurity. DsiN has therefore summarized the most important security tips for dealing with social media.

Protect personal information

  • Be sparing with personal information: The following applies to personal profile information: "less is more". In the case of private profiles in particular, you should check what information you have e.g. B. disclose about the place of residence or the family and make it public. If possible, use a pseudonym as well. You should never share confidential data such as logins or bank details via social networks.
  • Check friend requests: It is generally advisable to only add known contacts to the friends or contact list. Do not carelessly accept inquiries from strangers. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of a profile, first research whether it is actually a person you know before accepting the request.
  • Also pay attention to the personal rights of others: Check very carefully whether and how you mention other people. This applies to links as well as photos. Before you post pictures that show other people, get their permission first. If you publish images from third parties, you must take into account copyright and license law and, if necessary, add copyright information.
  • Protect children and young people in social networks: The German Child Protection Association recommends not to upload photos of children to social networks in order to prevent abuse or bullying. If young people have their own accounts in social networks, parents should provide them with competent support and educate their children about the risks and dangers.


Make logins secure

  • Use strong passwords: Always choose a secure password and different accesses for different channels as well as two-factor authentication. A password manager helps with administration.
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  • Do not use social logins: Many Internet services, from shopping to streaming and insurance, offer simplified registration via their own social media profiles. However, this also transfers user data and activities to the respective social media platform. In addition, the multiple use of the login data reduces the hurdles for attacks by criminals.

    Some social networks also reserve additional profile permissions when logging in. For example, content can be published by the operator in the name of their own website. Therefore: when using social logins, it is essential to read the terms of use and, if necessary, to read “not now”, “cancel” or the like in the case of questionable clauses. choose.

Check settings and links

  • Readjust the default settings: Many well-known social media platforms do not have strict specifications for the visibility and personal rights of the profiles in their default settings. Take your time and adjust the levers to safer modes accordingly.
  • Check the activities outside of the social media account: With some social networks, you can see which apps or websites your own social media profile is linked to and, for example, exchange data. Check the relevant links and remove them if you do not want them.
  • Be careful with complementary third-party apps: So-called third-party apps sometimes offer useful tools. You lead z. B. automatic activities such as following or liking other profiles. If you decide to install a third-party provider, you should be aware that they will also have access to your data. Not all offers are serious.

    In order to forbid access of such apps to the personal profile in principle, even if you are not using a third-party app yourself, users can “lock out” the applications in the settings for apps and websites. You should check these settings regularly and make them again if necessary.

Participation offers

  • Since 2012, the Golden Internet Prize has been awarded to exemplary projects that allow older people to participate in digitization and support them in using the Internet safely.
    Learn more
  • Getting young people excited about a safe online world: That is the aim of the myDigitalWorld youth competition. Every year, awards are given to outstanding projects and ideas for more security on the Internet.
    Learn more