Social networking web sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Windows Live Spaces are services provided for individual internet users to meet and connect with others to share photos, videos and personal messages online.
As these social networking sites grow in popularity, the risks of using them for the individual do too. All internet users are aware of spammers, hackers, people viruses, criminals and identity frauds and as these networking sites grow in natural traffic it is inevitable these unwanted factors do too. It is important internet users remember this and remain aware and cautious of other unethical internet users to make sure they remain safe when communicating online.
Below are tips to help protect one when using social networks:
-Don’t allow social networking services to scan your e-mail address book. This will avoid giving away e-mail addresses of your friends. When joining a new social networking site you can be provided with the option to enter your email address and password to find out whom else is on the network. The sight may use this information to send e-mail message to everyone in your contact list.
-Be selective about who you accept as friends on social networking sites. Try and make sure you know the person you are adding. Identity thieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you. This is known as social engineering. Being cautions and aware of this can help prevent unwanted situations.
-Don’t always trust those messages you receive are from who it really says it’s from. There are hackers and spammers on sites to be aware of, frauds can break into others sites and pretend to be someone else. If you feel the message is fraudulent choose another way of contacting your friend to advise them. If you feel you are in danger, always be sure to contact an authority like the police.
Use caution when clicking links that you receive from friend’s message on social web sites just like you would in links you receive via emails. Treat them with caution as they can be viruses or unauthorised people trying to get in contact.
-Assume what you write on a social networking site is permanent. Even if you can delete your account, anyone on the internet can easily print information or save it to a computer.
-Use your personal bookmarks or type the social networking site directly into your browser. Clicking a link to your site through e-mails or another web-site you may be entering your account name and password into a fake site where your personal information can be hacked or stolen.
-Be wary about installing extras on your site, social networking sites have additional functions that allow you to download third-party applications that let you do more with your personal pages. Criminals can use these applications to steal personal information. To download third party applications use the same action as you would when downloading any other program and file of the net.