The dangers of social networks
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Social networking sites haven’t been around for too long but their popularity among kids and young adults is strong. When I was younger, I remember grownups informing me and other kids of the dangers in social networks and what dire consequences it could have if you left too much information about yourself online. Today despite all the shocking stories we hear on the news and other media people aren’t as careful as they should be.
Background checks and identity theft
I’m not just talking about child grooming but the fact that people have been denied jobs and practice because of information employers had found about them online. Identity theft is another common problem that one should be aware of when leaving important information about oneself online. Most websites should not be trusted and may not give you the security promised.
Persecutors and paedophiles
Facebook is one of the biggest social networks of today and is a great example of where people are very careless. Users who don’t put their profiles to “private” on Facebook may not realise that everyone with access to Internet can see their pictures, statuses and other information they choose to publish. This has led to that paedophiles use social networks to come in contact with children. Even so it’s very common that people accept friend request from strangers they have no relation to. As of own observation I’ve noticed that people not only list their names and addresses but also phone numbers and plans after school. Updates of where you are and with who are very common, and since people often update their statuses via cellular Facebook automatically gives out where you were located when you sent your text. This makes it very easy for strangers and also acquaints to follow them.
Burglars and false profiles
Another big mistake people make is that they may not even have thought of to inform others via statuses when they’re going on a vacation. What they don’t realise is that a burglar could be reading it and now have information of when they won’t be home. Among young people on social networks like Facebook it’s common that you make up a false picture of your life. Pretending like it’s much more exciting and amazing than it really is causes other to think less of their lives and become insecure and unpleased. Even though a false facade could have a bad impact on others, the way of creating a profile give children the opportunity to create a positive self-view and thereby maybe contributing to a stronger confidence.
Socialization, information and support
Furthermore social networks are a great tool when trying to come in contact with long lost friends, meet new people with common interests and stay in touch with family and friends or even teachers and co-workers. Most social networks such as Facebook also offers information about campuses, coming events and other information. By inviting people to big events, social gatherings can occur such as demonstration or a fundraising for something good. There are also certain websites that connect people with difficulties and health or psychiatric problems so they won’t feel so alone and can get support from people with similar experiences. Most websites for social networks offer advertising and many users utilize it for a quick and easy way to earn some extra money.
In conclusion there are without doubt both advantages and disadvantages in having social networks. If all users knew where the limit between harmless fun and real risk it wouldn’t be as big of a problem. The main purposes of social networks are after all to keep people in touch with their friends and facilitate sharing experiences, not to scare people. To sum up, people need to be more cautious and not publish anything too personal. It’s after all possible to have fun on social networking sites without putting yourself or others at risk.