Facebook & MySpace
Social networking sites are great places to keep in contact with friends, develop relationships and meet new people in interesting places. Social networking sites are great places to keep in contact with friends, develop relationships and meet new people in interesting places.
Heading to a new city? How easy is it to find a new “friend” in that city at Facebook? This summer, a young person that works with FoolProof's CUHQ website stayed with “FaceBook Friends” in four separate countries. Not bad, and good on the budget, too.
But there’s a huge downside to these sites, also. Posting comments or pictures without thinking can get you in big trouble. Just posting something as innocent as your phone number or e-mail address can get you in trouble.
First, adults and schools and businesses head to these sites as much as we do. They’re looking for unguarded comments. “Hey, I wasn’t really sick yesterday; I just faked that excuse,” can get you in trouble at school or fired at work.
It’s not just legit people checking out your stuff, either. Plenty of predators cruise the social networks:
- Identity Thieves: they’ll take all the information on you and try to steal your ID and your money. Happens to young people all the time.
- Cyber Bullies: these jerks will harass you with emails, instant messaging and blog comments.
- Sickos: they’ll try to set up meetings with you, or worse.
So what should you do to use these wicked sites safely?
- Do not make personal information available to the public (address, birthday, cell and home phone, class schedule, etc…)
- Set privacy settings to help protect yourself.
- Be careful of what you put in your profile. Many companies regularly check out online profiles before hiring anyone.
- Check out our website for more information on topics like this. There’s plenty more in the way of money scams, ID-theft or privacy issues.
The Biggest Tip: remember that everything you put on the web will be there forever. Everything can be accessed by anyone.
Hey, that nearly makes you want to go take some things down from your account, right?
Cheers, Trevor & Will.