How to Avoid Mistakes Online

We asked this question to Murat Akbıyık, the President of YOUTHART, who works as an Instructor of English and Social Media Coordinator at Kadir Has University School of Foreign Langauges English Preparatory Program. Here is the list of advice he gives to active online users.

1- Keep all tagged photos private
Remember that if you post personal information online, you could lose control of it. Let’s say, a friend of mine posted photos of us on holiday. He put them on Facebook with some inappropriate comments, and they were very embarrassing. I’m friends with my boss and she saw them. She wouldn’t be impressed at all. A lot of young people post embarrassing pictures for fun, but I know a number of people who lost their job because of this.

2- Don’t share personal information
My nephew was not careful about posting and sharing personal information. He revealed this date and place of birth, and phone number and home address. He even told his friend where the spare set of keys were hidden. Needless to say, their home was broken into! If you share personal information online, be careful and don’t share information that can help people steal your identity or find out where you live. Don’t accept every request to become friend on social media.

3- Reply to all?
Be careful when you click “reply to all”. If you reply to everyone in a message group, then everyone in that group will read that e-mail. This is quite a common mistake and can ruin relationships with friends and colleagues. I once included my manager on an e-mail she should not have seen. So, take extra care when you respond, and on Facebook do not get confused between posting on a wall and sending a private message.

4- Use privacy settings
Every social media platform or website allows you to choose your privacy settings. Decide how visible you want your profile, contacts, photos and videos to be and then learn how to set the right level of control. Familiarise yourself with the sites’ policies about information you post. A friend of mine had her manager on her LinkedIn site but showed herself as a “looking for job” on the site. Her boss was not impressed of course.

5- Use secure passwords
If you include letters, numbers and punctuation in a password, it will be hard to break. Use different passwords for different accounts and don’t choose your birthday like a lot of people do. Never share your password with anyone. If someone wants to steal your identity, they might look at your social media pages. So do not post a picture with your pet’s name on your Facebook page if this is a secret word you share with your bank.

6- Watch your language
If you want to create a good impression, proofread your writing. Even better, get someone else to check what you have written. There’s nothing worse than a silly spelling or grammar mistake. And check that your language is appropriate. I usually reject candidates if they make a lot of spelling or punctuation mistakes on their applications.

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How to Avoid Mistakes Online

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About The Author
- Youth Art Research and Training Association, based in Istanbul, is the Turkish partner of the project.