Social Networking Safety Tips


Authored by Jackie Acosta in Social Networking 
Published on 12-30-2008

Social networking is now an integral part of today’s modern culture. People sign up to be part of social networks to stay in touch with friends, find new contacts or business prospects, or share thoughts and discuss common interests. These online social platforms encourage connectivity and individuality by encouraging people to share information to give people more light on their identities. Tools provided by these networks such as photo sharing, blogging, and information tagging, communicating our individual personalities to our friends and colleagues have never been made easier.

Although society has already accepted this blatant display of our personal and sometimes private information for easy access through the Internet, members of any social network should take precaution against divulging too much information. This can result to identity theft or fraud, which can be dangerous for any individual.

One must take certain precautions as a member of any social network. While in some cases such as sharing information like employment history is extremely important, as it is the purpose of the specific social network, one must be careful not to give too much detail. If you are worried that you will not be hired because your profile does not have enough information about your achievements, you can use the services of a head hunter or a job hunting website, which will guarantee confidentiality of your resume. If a company really wants to hire you, they will get in touch with you for an appointment or request for your detailed resume.

Remember to also be careful with any information that you post online. If you are posting a factual blog entry linked to your profile that requires you to present concrete examples, make sure everything is correct and your sources are cited. Do not plagiarize and post items on your profile or blog without any consent. Most countries have laws that punish theft of any intellectual property. Likewise, posting items that do not have credible sources or is not proven true is also dangerous as it can be branded as libelous and irrelevant.

Lastly, one should also take extra care in posting photographs in websites especially when even images now can be searched online. Do not post photographs that show you or other people in a bad light—who knows, a potential employer might come across it one day and have a change of heart about hiring you. Be careful on tagging photographs as well. Stalkers or thieves will familiarize themselves with your family and social network by reviewing your photos online, making it easier for them to steal your identity.

Social networking has revolutionized the way we interact with each other, but as with any other new invention we must take certain precautions to ensure safety. There are certain security measures that these networks have already established, but in the end, it is the member who supplies and controls the information that is posted online. Similar to the advice “think before you speak”, we must also “think before we post”, especially in a very open environment such as the World Wide Web.


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