The simple answer is, none are safe.

The very nature of the beast is it that it is all out there in the public eye for all to see.

More and more of us are using social media, Facebook, Twitter, Forums ect, some use it as a counselling couch others use it for being abusive, others to help and support.

Anyone can set up a FB profile, using a variety of names and details, we can never be absolutely sure people are who they say they are.

Although admin will say how they ‘vet’ new members it is almost impossible to know how genuine people are.

There are many examples of people who request to join a closed group, who are later found out to be not who they say they are and often have accessed a FB page with the intention of causing trouble and worse. The only way is to have a ‘secret’ page, then it can’t be found on search engines and it doesn’t show up anywhere. Members have to be invited by admin, even then it is not 100% safe. The down side of course is that those who are genuine also can’t find these groups.

It is important to be aware that comments or posts can be copied and pasted, and used in court, should you be going through a court case, don’t post anything that might be used against you. Writing court hearing dates and places is not advisable.

I have also had libellous remarks made about me, in the past, on forums.

Hopefully with the new laws now introduced it will make those who run forums, to be much more aware.

It is so sad that we have to think this way, but that is the reality of social media in all its forms.

There will always be people who want to cause trouble and the anonymity of the internet is a perfect breeding ground for people with hidden agendas.

I know that there are hundreds of grandparents who really need support and help, and the internet brings the whole world together at the click of a mouse, it enables people to get support just when they need it. Just be wary, and don’t fall into the trap of thinking it is like, one to one conversation,private, it isn’t.

Make sure you get to ‘know’ people before jumping in with both feet, and don’t go giving out your personal contact details ect ¬†until you are as certain as you can be that they are genuine.

If you belong to a forum, or FB group page, at the first hint of something not feeling right contact your admin immediately.

It is also important to say that the majority of people you ‘meet’ are perfectly ok, with a little thought and cautiousness the others won’t win!

Jane