Social networking exploded onto the scene several years ago, and many might remember that MySpace essentially started the entire revolution. After that, a site named Facebook arrived on the scene, and the social networking world now basically revolves around it. Many might know Facebook as a friendly place where you can create a profile, add your interests and hobbies to it, add photos, add your friends so that you can stay connected, and more. After all, that is the epitome of social networking. “Checking your social networking profile” has become second nature just like getting dressed in the morning or dropping the kids off at school.
However, it’s hard to see through all of the status updates, Spring Break photos, and flash games to the BAD parts of social networking. On the outside, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other sites look like friendly places to mingle with friends and meet new ones. Though, to a small percentage of people, these types of sites are the perfect environments to prey on others, including children, and develop scams.
Predators are one of the major dangers of social networking sites. It’s now easier than ever on social networking sites to search for people, find others with the same interests, search for people that work in your same workplace, etc. Predators are practically flocking to these types of sites because of the potential that they carry. The predators that once lurked around in chatrooms preying on people have essentially migrated to social networking because of this increased ease of contacting others. This is a huge danger for children as well.
Another major risk with social networking is your privacy. For example, there has been a lot of uproar over Facebook’s application feature because of the information that is being shared between application developers and third party companies. If you think that your Pet City game exists simply for entertainment purposes, this could be entirely wrong. You may have unknowingly allowed the app developer to share your private information with third party companies when you initially signed up for the application. A lot of people don’t typically think about this aspect of their privacy, but many people fall victim to it every day on social networking sites.
Additionally, many find that scams are a huge problem on social networking sites. It’s not too terribly uncommon for the average person to sit down to log on to their favorite social networking profile only to find that their password has been changed. Soon after, they realize that their hijacked profile is littered with status updates bearing links and information about free prizes and other gimmicks.
Overall, showing too much information on your social networking profile could eventually be detrimental, as you’ve seen. These types of sites still work wonderfully at connecting you to your friends and family, but it’s important to still bear in mind that there are real dangers that accompany social networking.