Jan 7, 2011

Dangers Of Social Networking...

Social Media should improve your life, not become your life....it's not what you know but who you know that makes the difference....

Websites dedicated to social networking represent a growing phenomenon. With the explosion of sites such as Facebook and MySpace, unforeseen dangers have started cropping up. 

Last night on TV we saw a show that has left me thinking very seriously about all the dangers involved with these different Social Networking sites...now I am trying to figure out a way to reduce my risks yet still enjoy all the fun and enjoyment I get from these sites. My favorite is Facebook:)

logging on to my FB account:)
Like almost everyone else, I have a Facebook account a Twitter account and some others I don't even remember.  I will have to admit that Facebook has re-united me with friends and family I have long  lost contact with....it's a good way to make connections with people with similar interests and goals.  For me the benefits have been good and the pleasure or connecting with friends from long ago surpasses the dangers...that is until what we saw last night. 

 Basically what we saw were people using these social networking sites to stalk, mutilate, murder and commit unforeseen acts of violence.  In particular one man was tracking and stalking young women just by using the information they (she) posted on her status updates.  Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.

Like everyone using these social networks, I will be the first to say I am also guilty of doing this...but after seeing what I have seen and of reading about it in the news and hearing from friends the dangers involved, I will definitely try to be less visible.  Not post on my status where we are and all to those details I see so often on Facebook of people telling their every move.  Way too easy for a "crazie" person to track you and god knows do what!!!

How to Stay Safe:

Evaluate your social networking account and postings—how do you feel about your employers seeing what you have posted? How about your parents or grandparents?

Do not post private information, including your cell phone number, home address, class schedule, social plans, etc. unless you are prepared for anyone to find you/track you down, any time of the day or night. Do not post anything that might be embarrassing to you in a potential employment situation. People have been denied work because of information found on social networking sites.

Be prepared to answer questions about your social networking page or other social account in job interviews. It has become common for interviewers to ask applicants, "Are you on a social networking site?" and "What is on your profile?" Be prepared to either decline the question or answer honestly because employers will most likely look at your social networking account themselves… if they haven't already.

Most important, use common sense.  Remember it is not only you involved but the ones you love also.  If someone wants to get to you the easiest way is to get to you through your loved ones, be it your children, spouse, parents, pets, etc....

To all my loved ones, friends and families please be careful what you post.  Be careful with the pictures you post of your children...too many perverts out there.....you do not have to discontinue using these sites but, just learn to be more cautious, selective and aware that not everyone out there has good intentions.

Personally, I have had quite a few perverts sending messages and suggestions....not really people I befriended.  I have played around with my privacy settings and have hopefully made myself less accessible to unwanted attention. 

Utilize the "Privacy" settings on your Facebook account—you can adjust your privacy settings so as to control who has access to your personal information. It's better to be safe than sorry:)

My overall experience has been really good.  As mentioned before, I have connected with friends from high school, college, family members and I have also made new and wonderful friends all because of Facebook.  Thanks to Facebook my sisters business really took off...so it has lots of advantages.  One must just learn where to draw the line.

Would I recommend Social Networking Sites?  Yes, I would but I would caution everyone to be careful with what information you put out there.

Regardless of what may be the hot social media property of any particular month or year, social networking has become a core part of our daily lives:))

It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense, it is instinct, and enough of it is genius.....

until next time....