When it comes to safety few of us consider being safe within a digital space, and how it affects our mental wellness.

We’ve become familiar with two-factor authentications, fingerprint passwords and facial recognition as a means to be safer online. Even with all these safety measures in place to protect our identities and money, we do need ways to protect ourselves from internet-caused anxiety.

First layer of protection: Passwords

Whether it’s your email, cloud storage, social media, or banking apps, always use proper passwords, not birthdays, your pet’s name, or your favourite sports team. Passwords should be a good mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. It makes you less susceptible to being hacked and having your identity or money stolen.

Second layer of protection: Privacy

It’s a hot topic right now and rightly so. It’s not just about cookies but also includes you sharing personal content, like intricate details about your family or work. A good rule to follow is that if you can’t explain it to your gran at the big family lunch then it shouldn’t be online.

Having your location on all the time or checking into places on social media in real-time means that anyone knows exactly where you are all the time.

A good tip is to only have your location settings turned on for apps that need it, like your maps or food ordering app. iPhone and Android phones also allow you to set the location to only be active while using an app.

Third layer of protection: People vs Trolls

By virtue of being on social media, you’re going to be exposed to trolls, and all their hate speech and nastiness. Never engage a troll. It’s not worth your mental health or time. Trying to engage with or reason with people who live to stir chaos can lead to serious psychological effects, including disrupted sleep, lowered self-esteem, depression, self-harm, and even suicide.