How Safe is Social Networking? - Is Social Networking Safe?
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Would you reveal your social security number to a friend at work? Would you tell people you meet at a party the intimate details of your life, including where you live? If a friend asked for your Internet passwords, would you tell them?
If you wouldn't tell someone something face-to-face, then don't relay the same information over the Internet. Always protect your privacy, no matter what sort of situation you might be in at any given time.
Social networking sites are generally secured, so it's unlikely you'll be hit with viruses and other bad programs for your computer. But if you tell someone personal details about you, then you're putting yourself at risk. No one needs to know anything about your passwords, account information, where you live or where you work.
Social networking is designed to be safe, but there's no accounting for human error. If you reveal too much about yourself, sensitive details which might compromise your identity or online safety, you'll be held liable for whatever happens next.
Take a safe approach when social networking: keep the personal details under lock and key. It won't harm anything to tell someone your favorite movie is Gone With the Wind, or that you like to listen to rhythm and blues. But it's good common sense to avoid mention of personal banking or informational details.
When using online dating, arrange meetings between yourself and potential mates on neutral ground. Choose well-populated, brightly lit public areas where you can be sure other people will be around. Choose a place that has no relation to you; do not invite someone to meet you at home or work, for instance.
You wouldn't tell a blind date where you live within the first five minutes, right? So don't give the same information to people you might be wishing to date that you meet over the Internet, or even friends and acquaintances you meet through social networking. There may be times when you want to meet people you meet online in a real-world environment, but that doesn't mean you should invite everyone over to your home.
Social networking can be very safe when it is used safely. Do so, and everything should be just fine.
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