In this episode of Tech Talk Tuesdays with Webafrica’s Myron Salant and Just Plain Darren, the guys discuss about Social Media and keeping your profiles and information safe.

Myron: I think a good place to begin would be to take a look at the events that have unfolded on Facebook (recently). Users began to receive friend requests from people they already know (and are already connected with).

As it turns out, some very cunning individuals were taking regular user profiles and recreating them. They are smart enough to mimic a regular user’s profile, including photos, about me information, and more, so that at first glance the profile would look completely legitimate.

What the fake users then do is start masquerading as regular users and sending friend request, and the start asking for money because they have fallen on tough times. They are very convincing and people need to be very vigilant out there.

Darren: So was it a scam, or was it not a scam? Or was it created to look like a scam.

Myron: It definitely looks like a scam, I think most people would fall for it. I mean if you see a profile that looks like your friend and he sends you a message saying “My old profile got deleted, rather accept a friend request from this one” and then he starts asking for money (It’s probably a scam).

You may raise your eyebrows, but people wouldn’t do this if it didn’t work, so you need to be cautious out there.

Darren: Talking about Social Media in general, the three that I think of are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I am very active on Facebook, but I go through phases and sometimes I am more active on Twitter. Then this morning I accidentally deleted my Instagram and it actually didn’t faze me, but that is massive for a lot of people.

So, which is best for what?

Myron: From a business point of view one of the most common questions is “Which social media platform is best for my business?”

The answer is: The one where your customers are.

If you’ve got visual items like confectionary, photographs, art – then Instagram is where your audience resides.

If you’re into PR and you need to get information out there quickly and frequently then Twitter is your go-to.

If you want to engage people in conversation then Facebook really is the way to go.

For individuals it really boils down to where your interests lie. Personally I am an Instagram junkie because I love all the travel shots that people post and if I had to delete that I think I’d have a mid-life Social media crisis.

Darren: When I started on Instagram I posted something and I got shouted at that you don’t put things like that on Instagram, it’s for photographs. Are you saying that it’s a good marketing platform?

Myron: Absolutely. If you’re trying to expose something that you sell that’s so visual, like a holiday destination, or any form of art (or even clothing or food) then Instagram is a great form of social media because it is so visual.

Darren: Okay, and then Twitter is obviously a source of news for a lot of people. You go onto Twitter first thing in the morning to see what’s been happening, and you sum up what you would usually see in the newspaper in the morning.

Myron: Absolutely. Twitter is such a great way (and a quick way) to consume information and stay up to date pretty much up to the second. It’s interesting you mention the guys selling newspapers on the side of the street – I often look at them and wonder “When will this be obsolete? When will social media replace printed media forever?”

Darren: As far as all these platforms go, there are obviously a few landmines around them. One of them is “if you’ve had a few drinks throw your phone far away because you never know what might be said on there”.

That is obviously the drawback of having these, right?

Myron: very much so, there have been so many examples in South Africa of people saying things on social media that they come to regret. The rule of thumb is: If you‘re not prepared to say it to a group of people face-to-face, don’t put it on social media. Once it’s out there you can never take it back.

Darren: That’s also true of Whatsapp groups, now, isn’t it? You don’t know who may be lurking in what you think is a closed group and what they will share.

Myron: That’s also true. There’s nothing like your phone bleeping at 2am with your friend sending a photo to the group.

We think the three golden rules when sharing with a Whatsapp group are:

  • Is it relevant to post?
  • Is it necessary to post?
  • Is it a good time to post?

(You can see our full list of Golden Rules for Whatsapp groups here)

Darren: Where can people follow for more information about this type of stuff? Webafrica must have this information available somewhere?

Myron: Absolutely. You can visit where we have a huge amount of information available about all kinds of useful online topics, and some really interesting articles about best practices.


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