The Dangers of Social Networking

The Dangers of Social Networking

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(Photo Credit: Julia Junghans)

Facebook is unarguably one of the most transcendent, convenient, yet controversial movements of technology in recent memory.  That is one hell of a combination. For instance, some people may use it as a way to connect with friends or family members living far away, sharing their personal pictures, while others use it as a business connection.

 In a place where there’s such a variety of people and interests, it is important for you to take some care of the image you transmit to others.  You might not care about that potential danger right now, but a few years from now, you will be happy to have followed these tips.

 

Keep your personal pages as clean as possible. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are usually the first links that appear when someone types your name into Google. Therefore, make sure that all of your embarrassing pictures are well protected or deleted.

 

Also, try to control what you say on your pages. Keep this in mind:  Just as anything you post online can be read by your friends, it can also be read by strangers and future employers, who will get the first impression of you according to what they see on your page.  So, think twice before you post anything that you might not want someone to see.

 

You might think that sharing some funny jokes or drunk pictures will not affect anything, but think again.  No potential employers want to see how much you hated your previous job, nor how terrible your boss was.  In addition, check your friends’ pages–you never know where that unflattering picture of you may be hiding.

 

What’s more, keep in mind that you can always change your privacy settings so that your information is not available for the public eyes.  However, governmental agencies may have programs to access even deleted files.

 

In addition to this, try to keep track of the people you accept as friends. There are cases that involve hackers gaining access to one’s account simply by  sending  them a friend request and being accepted without further analysis. After gaining access to the account, the hackers might be able to take any information and either manipulate or use it for any kind of purpose. There are many situations in which the hackers steal one’s pictures to ruin their reputation, or even create entirely fake profiles.

 

One example is the story of the former Notre Dame football player, Manti Te’o, who was victim of a prank on Facebook.  According to the story that was first reported by Deadspin.com in January of 2013, Teo ended up having  an online relationship with someone who claimed to be a girl by the name Lennay Kekua.  Kekua turned out to be Teo’s close friend impersonating Lennay’s false personality and the friend even faked the girl’s death of Leukemia.

 

What started as a joke by his friends, ended  up being a heartbreaking case of  mistaken identity, based on a practical joke through the use of a social network. Hence, the ultimate danger of not fact-checking and doing proper analysis of your profiles, as well as others.

 

What’s true is that people will not stop using social media, and they shouldn’t. Social networks play a big role in today’s America, and the concepts themselves have many good aspects, but being aware of the danger of oversharing personal information is the best way to prevent negative aspects from disrupting your life.  One can never be too cautious.