Social Networking Risks

A well known saying goes as "every coin has two sides". Inventions come with a positive and a negative side. This applies to social networking portals as well.
| Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Crime rate has shot up to an alarming rate. Is social networking one of the major contributors to this? Many questions remain unanswered when we talk of social networking used as a source to commit crimes. Teenagers form the major target market for social networking and the crime as well as suicidal rates in this age group is the maximum.

What is Social networking, A Gain or a Bane?

The fact remains that the associated advantages outnumber the disadvantages of social networking. The other side of the actuality is that the negatives get publicized more than the positives. It is necessary for the users to understand that social networking sites were introduced to overcome the constraints of time and distance. Today people can communicate with each other from any part of the world under any time zone.

Social Networking Safety

  • All popular social networking sites have made stringent processes to safeguard the user’s private data. The users have the option to disclose their personal details to selected people.
  • All users may not be technologically sound and the social networking sites understand this. The interfaces, the links and the pages are very user friendly and simple to go about with.
  • While creating profiles in many of these sites, the forms do not demand for all information from the user. Personal information is optional to be disclosed. Choose wisely what you need to disclose.

How to Minimize Risks Associated with Social Networking?

  1. Disclose information in limits. When all of us today are aware that social networking sites cannot be hundred percent error free then why let the world know everything about you? Personal contact numbers, addresses and other secretive information should ideally not be revealed.
  2. Be patient to read and understand the site that you are interested in associating with. Learn the functions of every button and link or take necessary guidance from experts if you are unsure of the ways these portals work.
  3. Choose social networking sites as per your requirement. There are sites which are meant for professionals, e.g. ‘Linked in’. Do not add your relatives in these portals if you wish to keep your personal and professional life apart from each other. Sites like ‘Facebook’ are more generalized for anyone to include their friends, relatives or colleagues. In this case too if you wish to draw a line of privacy among the people then go for the settings accordingly.
  4. Do not fall prey to fraudlent schemes or unknown people. It is always advisable to have trusted people in your account. Do not accept invitations from strangers. A huge number of people are known to boldly accept invitations from strangers to expand their social network.
  5. Hitting the wrong button can be hazardous. Always think before you click any button. With just one wrong click you may unknowingly get connected to hundreds of people.
  6. Be cautious while using social networking sites for businesses. Negligence in this case can lead to data loss and disclosure of confidential information.

Identity thefts, breaching, frauds and other cyber crimes are never ending stories. These cannot be prevented but can be controlled by using social networking portals wisely. So when you get associated with these sites, respect the instructions and regulations laid down by the sites and your contribution in reducing risks will be most valuable.

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