• Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

How Technologies Can Protect Mental Health in the Era of Social Media

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As World Mental Health Day is commemorated today, it’s a good time to remember the tough connection between mental health and social media.

While bringing many benefits to people globally, social media has a downside from causing anxiety, fear of missing outcyberbullying or stress, to other complications. 

Kaspersky experts share their tips on how technology can help users reduce online stress as well as protect themselves.

1. Limit oversharing

In the new era of social media, the safest option is to pay close attention to what you share online. Over-sharing can make you more vulnerable to criticism from others, which can exacerbate anxiety. Another reason is to protect personal data from strangers.

For example, users can accidentally leave details of flight tickets or other data such as a personal address in a great vacation photo.

Today, anyone can go to someone’s account and see what they share with others, so it’s safer not to give scammers any chance to use your personal information. 

2. Learn how to deal with tough comments

Unfortunately, it’s almost inevitable you’ll face a bully or hater if you post a lot of content online. The situation can become especially tough if kids have to face it.

Expert insights urge people not to take any bad or hurtful comments to heart, become upset, or more importantly give up on their dream.

It’s important to be aware that trolls or aggressors are looking for a reaction as their main goal is to hurt or provoke emotions.

The more attention aggressors receive, the more they will continue to write negative posts.

To face bullies without harming your own mental health, it’s a good practice to teach children how to work with negative comments – for example, to ignore troll posts, delete negative comments, or report insults to moderators. It might also be a good idea to turn off comments.

Additional help could be to take small breaks and digital detox to escape from social networks, so you can relax and focus on yourself. Kaspersky has launched a digital CyberSpa space, to help people distract from worries and take a few calming breaths when you need to refocus. 

3. Make social accounts private

To reduce the risk of running into a hater or sharing sensitive information, a good defense is to increase the level of account privacy. Various social networks have different privacy settings:

Facebook

  • Facebook has a special Help Center, that will help adjust the privacy settings for accounts
  • Facebook offers a selection of tools to fight cyberbullying. For instance, the company has developed a separate Anti-Bullying Center for Teens.
  • Users can also track who tags them on their content. This can be done in the Chronicle & Tags settings.
  • A great option is to check already published materials with users’ tags, and, if necessary, you can remove yourself from materials you do not want to be associated with, using the “Activity Log”.

Instagram

  • Users can use a restrictive tool to protect their account without notifying the unwanted visitors
  • Change of the privacy setting allows you to choose who can watch and comment on users’ content.
  • You can moderate comments under your posts.
  • Instagram tracks the content posted by users. If the platform sees possible violations, it will notify the user that they are about to publish information that crosses the boundaries.

Twitter

  • Twitter has its own Online Bullying help center for help and advice.
  • Expansion of notification filters, allows users to filter the accounts from which they receive notifications. For example, they may not receive notifications from users without a profile picture.
  • One effective step is also the option to block users. This prevents blocked accounts from posting, seeing your tweets, and reading your feed.
  • Special Twitter Help Center will provide users with all necessary tools to protect personal data and tweets.

TikTok

  • TikTok has produced a guide that helps to identify bullying behaviour and take measures against them.
  • Configuring video privacy settings on a personal account, lets users choose who can view each video and restricts the upload of personal videos.
  • The unwanted comments filter allows to create a list of unwanted keywords that will be blocked in the comments on videos or during live broadcasts to protect users from bullying.
  • User filter allows you to choose who can add the Duet to a user video.
  • Family settings keep users safe and support them in their creative endeavors without breaking personal boundaries.

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