Social Networking Invasion
Would you believe that with just a touch of your fingertips, you could actually link up to millions of people? True enough, the popularity of the 21st century "virtual community" is on a relentless rise. It is a social networking of a group of people who use the Internet to interconnect with each other practically about anything and almost everything. Quite a number of new sites and social groups are born each day, which allows you to create your own social networking site that allows you to freely express yourself, finding commonalities among people and finally fit into your own group.
Since its emergence, millions of people have been hooked up primarily because constant communication plays a vital role in everyday life. Nowadays, social networking has provided new and up to date means of communication and sharing information because majority of their services is web-based, which are very accessible and offers a wide variety of ways users can interact. They communicate with each other by chat, instant messaging, video conference and blogs. In general, the service provides a way for members to get in touch with friends of other members. One can also strengthen friendships, discover new affection through dating sites; meet a colleague just to "hang out" together, engage in a new business venture or a hybrid that offers a combination of these. No wonder hundreds of millions of people have joined one or more social networking sites all over the world.
However, the growing popularity of these social networks accompanies several risks. Hackers, virus writers, spammers, identity thieves, and other criminals are very rampant these days. To instill awareness, here are a few safety guidelines:
Carefully select your social network. Make a quick run-through of the Web site’s safety notifications, standards, and learn how to report infringement.
Be choosy on who you accept as a friend on a social network.
Take into account that information you post on a social networking is considered permanent, and you cannot take it back anymore. It cannot be easily deleted due to the fact that anybody can print or save it, even if you have deleted your account.
Never over-share. Think twice before sharing details. Control the information you post and think about restricting access to your page to a selected group of people. Don’t divulge your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, or bank and credit card account numbers — and don’t post other people’s information, either. Be alert about posting information that could be used to identify you or locate you offline.
Posted personal beliefs and jokes may be insulting and unethical to some people that can readily access your account.
Make sure your screen name doesn’t reveal too much about yourself. A fake name or alias will do, as there was never a rule to use your real name on a social network.
Don’t trust strangers because you never really know if he/she is telling the truth or just pretending to be somebody he/she really is not. Trust your instincts if you have suspicions.
It’s never a crime to join social networking and to have fun. All you have to do is be responsible and vigilant enough. Take extra precautions to avert probable negative outcomes.
Make sure you maintain your computer’s defenses like an updated anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware and operating system updates.
If you don’t want to be left behind, embrace the invasion while it’s still fiery hot!