When Using Social Networking Sites Exercise Caution

 

With more people using social networking sites there is also an increase in the various threats people may encounter online. Unfortunately population masses tend to attract people with less than noble intentions and so is the case with many popular social networking sites. Now the social networking dangers that do exist are not extreme enough to consider your complete withdrawal from these sites. On the other hand your safety on the internet can be compromised if you do not exercise caution.

Here are 3 of the most common threats facing many people involved in online social networking.

Malware

Spammers of all sorts can ’sniff’ out a crowd online in a short period of time. Many target popular social sites because the ‘fishing’ is good. The offer of interesting content or a helpful download allows these people to ‘deposit’ different types of malware on your computer.

In this case the same rules should apply when involved in any online social activities as it does with your email. Do not open anything from people you do not know or looks suspicious – end of story.

Online Predators

Once again due to the popularity of online social sites part of the crowd it attracts belongs more to the ‘creepy’ element. Although these sites do keep you out of immediate physical contact there are circumstances that could put you at risk. Strangers do not have need for any of your personal information. No matter how many messages you may pass back and forth with someone on one of these sites how well do you really know them? One of the most common social networking dangers is the creeps posing as your friend to get important and private information from you. Be friendly but do not share anything other than what may be reflected in your profile or perhaps casual interests. Quite frankly there is NO reason for someone to know anything other than this.

Remember what we all learned when growing up – do not talk to strangers!

Site Host

Unfortunately it appears that perhaps some of the more popular networking sites are getting a little too liberal with the use of members personal information. Now we will not mention names here but some sites are making ’subtle’ changes to their ‘policies’ involving member privacy. It is up to each individual to protect themselves insofar as how much information they are willing to give these sites. Read all disclosures carefully and be forthcoming but at the same time particular in what you allow your profile to reflect about you.

With the growing number of people using social networking sites there also is an increase in the number of threats existing at many of these sites. Now many of these social networking dangers are not extreme enough to justify staying completely away however an awareness of them is important. It seems that the most popular social networking sites like facebook or twitter or more prone to attracting this type activity. But the fact of the matter is everybody should be aware of certain precautions they need to take for their own safety on the internet. The 3 most prevalent threats we discussed above can be easily avoided by practicing a little common sense during any online social networking activity. By taking certain precautions as recommended above you will make your online networking experience not only safer but also more enjoyable.

By: T. J. Philpott

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