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For the Grand Generation – Everything you want to know about the Internet, but are too afraid to ask!

For the Grand Generation – Everything you want to know about the Internet, but are too afraid to ask!

a special feature from Kay & Leslie, founders, & the staff of Grandparentslink

Hey, this technology thing is here to stay–plain and simple. Whether you are in the over fifty (and nifty) crowd, a baby boomer, a millennial, or even a youngster…. everyone is communicating and receiving information faster than the speed of light- literally! But, as we utilize the Internet and the many venues of social media, there are a few things we want you to be aware of as you communicate.  Here’s our original and simple suggestions that our staff has brainstormed and put together just for you:

When Texting…
Try and use spell check- why not? You do want people to understand what you are saying, right?! Keep your chain of texts… this way, you have your own filing system of previous conversations with that person, so you can remember when you are supposed to meet for business, pleasure or pick up the grandkids! Try not to communicate totally in emoji’s (that cute library of smiley faces attached to your keypad on your smartphone!). They’re cute, but annoying! Kids sure do love to use them to tell a story when they might be too young to text, but keep it minimal!

Using Instagram….
What better way than instragram to provide you with a venue to post your daily life experiences and allow you to follow your friends and family, as well as whomever else you choose to follow on a private platform. Meaning, you post a picture and only those you select may see that photo, unlike other venues such as Facebook that broadcast your information in a less private way. Families love to keep in touch via photo history, so why not sign up, set up a private account, and get snapping!

Using Facebook…
Carefully, carefully and more carefully….
Be careful of how over zealous you get being a “friend” and liking posts of others. Like any other social media platform, over doing it can get annoying. Don’t be that person commenting on the weather EVERY SINGLE DAY, or posting hourly photo documentation of your rainy day at home. There are some things that should be left out for Facebook. Be sure to be careful whom exactly you are accepting as a friend. If you do not know the person more often than not that unwanted friend request could lead to a hacking situation and could really screw up your Facebook livelihood.
Make sure you understand that Facebook is a public network. If you choose to write a friend message on their ‘wall’, make sure you understand the rest of the world will see that post. Personal feelings/messages are best to be kept in your private Facebook messenger folder. That way no one is offended or shocked at what is posted. And, before you post pictures of friends and family, make sure you have permission. Not everyone wants their pictures to be posted.

Using Snapchat…
Some of you might not be familiar with snapchat just yet. It is a social media platform that is geared toward the younger crowd or celebrity that is willing to share and live stream their personal life. Teenagers love this new app that lets you record short videos, send or post them to your account and lets people see a video or photo of your day-to-day life. We haven’t decided if we as grandparents see the need to use snapchat yet, but watch out kids…. Grandma might be snapping you any day now! (Again, make sure you have the family’s permission to post their pics.)

Using Twitter….
Don’t think that only the President has mishaps here… Twitter is an open canvas for your voice. “What is Twitter?” and why should you use it are among the most popular questions the unconverted have about the social networking site. With text messaging, a variety of social networking sites and blog spots, why is Twitter useful?

For one, there are many great business uses for Twitter, like sending out news briefs or advertising the latest job opening. But believe it or not, there are even more personal uses for Twitter.

The idea of crowdsourcing has never been so quick! You can ask all sorts of questions to the Twitter universe, from what is the capital of Alaska to what people think of a particular brand of baby food. And the more friends you have, the more detailed answers you will receive. From newspapers to magazines to TV stations and cable news, it seems everyone is adopting Twitter as the coolest thing since sliced bread. The coolest part is that Twitter is a great way to keep track of the news.

Twitter can be very useful for arranging a time and place to get together. It’s like a conference call with text messaging. So, if you have a regular lunch date with a group of people, or just want to arrange a get-together, Twitter can be a great way to nail down a time and place that works for everyone.

We’ve all had one of those days, whether it was someone pulling in front of us in traffic or getting served the wrong type of coffee, it is sometimes these little things that can put us in a bad mood for the rest of the day. The best advice is to let it out, but to whom? It’s not like most places of employment have a handy punching bag, and it’s probably not smart to vent to your boss. That’s where Twitter can be really helpful because it lets you rage to millions of people. And you might just get some sympathy tweets out of it too. Just remember to watch the language.

Keep your personal information safe with our 10 top tips for protecting your privacy on social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here’s some advice from our entire staff to help you live your best social media life!

  1. Use caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your friends on your social website. Treat links in messages on these sites as you would links in e-mail messages.
  2. Know what you’ve posted about yourself. A common way that hackers break into financial or other accounts is by clicking the “Forgot your password?” link on the account login page. To break into your account, they search for the answers to your security questions, such as your birthday, hometown, high school class, father’s middle name, on your social networking site. If the site allows, make up your own password questions, and don’t draw them from material anyone could find with a quick search.
  3. Don’t trust that a message really is from whom it says it’s from. Hackers can break into accounts and send messages that look like they’re from your friends, but aren’t. If you suspect that a message is fraudulent, use an alternate method to contact your friend to find out. This includes invitations to join new social networks.
  4. To avoid giving away e-mail addresses of your friends, do not allow social networking services to scan your e-mail address book. When you join a new social network, you might receive an offer to enter your e-mail address and password to find out if your contacts are on the network. The site might use this information to send e-mail messages to everyone in your contact list or even everyone you’ve ever sent an e-mail message to with that e-mail address. Social networking sites should explain that they’re going to do this, but some do not.
  5. Type the address of your social networking site directly into your browser or use your personal bookmarks. If you click a link to your site through e-mail or another website, you might be entering your account name and password into a fake site where your personal information could be stolen.
  6. Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Identity thieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you.
  7. Choose your social network carefully. Evaluate the site that you plan to use and make sure you understand the privacy policy. Find out if the site monitors content that people post. You will be providing personal information to this website, so use the same criteria that you would to select a site where you enter your credit card.
  8. Assume that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent. Even if you can delete your account, anyone on the Internet can easily print photos or text or save images and videos to a computer.
  9. Be careful about installing extras on your site. Many social networking sites allow you to download third-party applications that let you do more with your personal page. Criminals sometimes use these applications to steal your personal information. To download and use third-party applications safely, take the same safety precautions that you take with any other program or file you download from the Web.
  10. Think twice before you use social networking sites at work, and be sure to talk to your kids and grandchildren about exactly what avenues you are accessing!

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