Social media enables us to interact with people globally but as more and more people log onto the internet, online privacy and security have emerged as major concerns. From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, social media can be used as a harassment tool.
On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, we list all the important safety features on two major social media platforms: Instagram and YouTube.(Check out our recent article on all the features that help you feel safer on Twitter.).
Take a Break’: Instagram has announced a new feature called ‘Take a Break’ in various countries including India. Take a Break will alert users scrolling on Instagram to periodically take breaks from the platform and focus on other things. The platform will also alert users of the new inclusion with a notification. Instagram also shows expert-backed tips to help reflect and reset. To inform teens about this feature, Instagram shows notifications suggesting people to turn on these reminders.
Limits: This feature automatically hides comments and DM requests from people who don’t follow you, or only recently started following you. Limits will allow you to hear more from your long-standing followers, while limiting contact from people who might only be coming to your account to target you. You can easily turn this feature on by going to your privacy settings.
Control Comments: This feature removes any offensive words and phrases and bullying comments. Instagram also allows you to create your own list of words or emojis that you don’t want to see in the comments section. You can enable this by going to “Filters” in the Comment Controls section.
Hidden Words: Tired of getting unwanted DMs? Instagram’s Hidden Words feature allows you to filter any unwanted, spammy or abusive DM requests. It also automatically filters offensive words, phrases, and emojis into a hidden folder.
Sensitive Content Control: In a bid to curb hate speech, bullying, and harmful content on the platform, Instagram limits the visibility of certain posts that have been flagged by the community for containing sensitive content.
Restrict: Once the Restrict feature is enabled, comments on your posts from a person you have restricted will only be visible to that person. You won’t receive any notifications for comments from a restricted account.
Manage like counts: Like counts can be trouble worthy for some, Instagram has given the option to hide like counts on all the posts you see in your feed—and you can do this by visiting the new Posts section in Settings. You’ll also have the option to hide like counts on your own posts, so others can’t see how many likes your posts get, and you can do this on a post-by-post basis.
Support Requests: This is a place where you can stay current on reports filed and follow updates on any violations by your account. This is aimed at increasing transparency by ensuring that everyone has access to viewing their reports and violations. This also provides people a dedicated place to appeal decisions they disagree with in an effort to ensure that our processes are fair.
Block: You can block accounts you don’t want to interact with. The account that you blocked won’t be able to see and commenting on your posts, Stories, Reels, and Live broadcasts. Notably, Instagram does not tell people when they’ve been blocked, or who has blocked them, and you can unblock an account at any time.
More choices for parents with kids and teens : YouTube offers personalised choices for your family. For instance, if you are a parent or caregiver, YouTube offer options and controls to help you decide what kind of YouTube experience is best for your kid. The company launched YouTube Kids to create a safer environment for kids to explore their interests and curiosity, while giving parents the tools to customise the experience.
For teens, YouTube has supervised experience the company disables a number of features normally available on YouTube, like comments and live chat, as well as the abilities to create a channel, upload content, and make purchases.
Take a Break: If you’re spending too much time on YouTube and want to disconnect for a while, “Bedtime” or “Take a Break” feature, located in your Settings, can prompt you to stop watching videos for the day, either during or after video play.
Manage your data: This YouTube feature allows you to easily browse, delete or pause your search or watch history. Any videos removed from your history will no longer influence your recommendations, and queries you’ve removed won’t show in your search bar as your history suggestions.
Incognito Mode: Incognito mode lets you browse privately in a session so your account’s search and watch history won’t be carried over to your logged-in account’s search and watch history.
Two step verification: You must turn on two-step Verification, check the strength of your passwords, and manage which third-party apps have access to your account data.