Privacy and Safety on Social Networking Sites

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Since the inception of social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, people find new ways to connect and stay in touch with, or reconnect with, old classmates, friends, and distant relatives they have not seen or heard from in years. Unfortunately, spammers, online predators, and hackers have found new ways to spoil interrupt the enjoyment of using these sites.

The newly appointed FCC chairman, Newton N. Minow, said the following about television on May 9, 1961, “I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland”. Applying that idea to any site or individual on the Internet is easy, when you consider those that conduct online activity for the sole purpose of obtaining information about other users to use in a variety of ways.

Spam

Spam is any unsolicited message, usually sent in bulk, to random email addresses or through newsgroups, forums, and now social networking sites. Most spammers do this simply because they can, and do, get away with it. Most people set up a free email address to use indiscriminately so that spammers send their junk to that email address instead of the main address people use for business or to give to friends.

Lax privacy settings

Sometimes people on social networking sites, message boards, or chat rooms, believe that using a completely anonymous persona, makes them paranoid. In today’s society, it pays to be extremely cautious when it comes to allowing others to see your personal identifying information. There are people who will use your information for devious purposes. It is not paranoia when you want to keep your private information, private. It is using common sense to choose who can see what about you on community sites.