Dangers of social networking have invaded networking sites in a big way, are gaining momentum every day, and subject you to extreme risk.
If you spend time on social networks such as Facebook, Myspace, etc, you leave yourself open to privacy issues, identity theft, scams and more.
Scams are on the increase on reunion sites Myspace, and Facebook.
In a worse case scenario, children have become victims of pedophiles, or lured to meet a stranger somewhere without their parents knowledge and just disappear.
Dangers of social networking also include a scenario that happened to a friend of mine who had her Facebook page hacked into with the scammer leaving a message of urgency.
This type of situation is happening all the time and is becoming more and more common place because of all the personal information people have on their sites.
People put picture of themselves, their family, friends, kids, parents, what schools and colleges they went to and so much more personal information.
Besides stealing your personal information, it prompts users to update versions of Adobe Flash by clicking the download button.
When clicking for this update you are being tricked into buying anti virus software for $30-40 that isn’t the “real deal”, it’s a ruse and fake. Facebook has done it’s best to respond quickly to any problems concerning dangers of social networking, but no contact phone number is provided for members.
It took a few days for my friend to receive a reply to this hacking concern.
Unfortunately, any social networking site you frequent is subject to the same type of problems of hackers, identity theft, lack of privacy, predators and scam artists.
It’s a sad fact of life that while you are connecting with friends, having fun messaging, blogging, putting up photos, you also have to worry about the dangers of social networking and how your personal information may be used against you now, or at a later date.
Members who view or share photos, or search for items on craigslist, or have a profile on any social networking system, are open to becoming a victim of some type of crime.
I know people that have lost jobs and had their personal life totally ruined because of some seemingly innocent item they posted on their page.
Information security technologies such as antivirus, antispyware, firewalls, and intrusion detection are important, but there is more to this than just the digital security side to protect your data.
Micro botnets can be incorporated into social networks and a motivated hacker can find cell phone numbers, email addresses and other personal information of very prominent people by going through pages of misfired direct messages on sites such as Twitter.
Especially at risk are your children when using any social networking site.
Teenagers spend an extreme amount of time on these sites such as Myspace, Facebook, etc.
Most of these teens are not aware of the dangers of social networking and the risk that comes with the innocent click of a button.
Facebook and Myspace have millions of members and are growing tremendously every day.
These sites have gained such popularity and because of this, they act as huge magnets for the predators that prey on the young.
Myspace has announced, after being pressured by the United States government, it removed approximately 29,000 American sex offenders from their network.
Myspace account holders have to be at least 14 and automatically restrict 14-15 year old’s accounts to the highest privacy setting.
Anyone 16 and older has the option to set their own privacy setting.
The network also does not allow members 18 years of age to add users under 16 unless they know their email address and full name.
Because it is easy to lie about their age, it is even more critical to implement an age-verification system.
Until this happens children and their parents need to become educated on the dangers of social networking.
Facebook also has realized dangers exist on their network and agreed to crack down on sexual predators and change the way it handles any complaints on inappropriate content and sexual harassment.
If you allow your kids to be on the social networks make sure the privacy settings are set on the highest level and their profiles are set to “private”.
Many social networking sites do have a minimum age limit, so a profile cannot be made by a young child.
As I said earlier, these systems can be fooled, so make sure your child is not putting too much data that is private on the site such as, what school they go to, what their home address is, or phone number.
It is much too easy for a fake profile to be made by a predator that claims to be the same age, and have the same interests as your child.
Use caution, common sense and know the dangers of social networking when you are accessing any of these sites.
I hope I've been able to show you how very real the dangers of social networking are. Protect yourself and your family from these dangers and stay safe when online.