Social networking sites are a great way for people to keep in touch with one another, they help to find old school friends who have been lost and they help keep in touch with all your current friends.
Ever wondered just how safe social networking sites were? They are not as safe as they make out to be. The dangers of these sites are becoming increasingly apparent. From ruined lives, to job losses, to stolen identities; sites like Facebook and Twitter are becoming a worry for all.
The main worry amongst these sites is that teenagers are more and more getting roped into revealing most of their identities. The most common and important danger linked to these sites is identity theft; many fake profiles have been created based on live information from real people’s profiles.
The World of Facebook
Facebook has an average of 500 million users worldwide, making it the most common used social networking site in history. This site is a great way for people to keep in contact with other all around the world. However, it also has its dangers.
It is estimated that 91% of teenagers have a profile on Facebook which contains all of their personal information.
In 2007, Facebook enabled profiles to become searchable through their new Public Search Listings, everyone saw the danger in this because it meant your profile would show up on all major search listings, through engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN Search. To make sure that profiles are kept private through this, you can edit privacy settings on Facebook.
Facebook can pose many hidden threats and dangers, particularly to teens using the site than adults. To ensure that your child is using Facebook safely carefully explain some of the dangers that they could possibly face; letting them know that information such as full name, date of birth, hometown, current location, phone number and email are details that give out too much information to strangers and outsiders.
There are numerous sources you can use to help make sure your profile is under the tightest of securities.
How to Protect You or Your Child from Facebook Dangers
Restrict access to your profile – Make full use of the privacy settings the site gives, a good idea would be to limit all information so that it doesn’t allow strangers to learn anything about you, it’s not safe.
Keep private information private – As mentioned before, never post information such as full name, address, social security number, phone number or any other information that could make you and your profile look vulnerable to identity thieves.
Choose a name other than your real name – Don’t put your real name, use a screen name. This prevents scammers locating you when you are offline.
Be hesitant before posting photos – This is how scammers can identify you offline, through your photos. More importantly they can be shared or tampered with without your permission.
Avoid posting information that could lead to a physical attack – Publicizing where you are going to meet friends, or class schedule is like openly inviting a stranger to know your daily routines and know where to find you.
Trust your instincts – If you feel uncomfortable or threatened by someone you are talking to on Facebook, don’t carry on the conversation. If you feel like you need to report someone, then don’t hesitate.
Protecting yourself is the smart thing to do, if you feel like you could be in any sort of danger be suspicious and report any activity you are not comfortable with.