When you’re hanging out with your friends on social networking sites, it’s easy to forget that what you say and share might not just stay between friends coz of excitement and fun. Social media is all about transparency, sharing and being your organic authentic self.
Thirty-five percent of adults on the Internet now have a profile on at least one social networking site, and 51 percent have more than one. Three-quarters of users between the ages of 18 and 24 have an online profile. The Pew Research Center found that 89 percent of these people use the sites to keep up with friends, 57 percent to make plans with friends and 49 percent to make new friends. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendster, Twitter and some other local networks are just a few of more than 100 Web sites connecting folks around the world who are eager to share their thoughts and feelings. But just like in real life, there’s such a thing as sharing too much information. It’s easy to get caught up in the social aspects of sites like Facebook, but what you choose to share is there for all to see if you don’t limit who can view your information.
There are few things which really need to be restricted to safeguard your personality. Some things you should probably just keep to yourself.
1. Contact Information: Let only your beloved ones and friends whom you can trust only know your contact information like your address, tele numbers, mails etc. This is very genuine information so this needs to restrict only to your circle.
2. Credit Card / Debit Card / other Money Making pictures: People do have the habit of sharing, when they get something new to their life, Cars – houses – jeweler’s looks fine, but sometime in the excitement people tend to share pic’s of their credit cards, Debit cards etc showing it off on Instagram is like posting Identity theft porn.
3. An invitation to “please rob me”: Letting the 1/6 of the human population of this planet that is on Facebook know that you’re in Mexico this week while that brand new 60” TV that you posted about last week is home all alone is an invitation to “please rob me”. So one needs to be careful about such things, before posting any new things, do give a thought on your weekend plans or tours, think and then post if you think without your presence if they are secured.
4. Password: Nobody on this world dares to post his password, but sometimes a friend might pull you to such an extent where situation might ask you to do so, you might share a hints, keywords, suggestions, tricks. Such things always need to be avoided. This one should be at the top of the no-brainer pile. If your password is the name of your cat that has his own Facebook account with 2,652 friends, then you either need to change your password or your cat.
5. Personal Conversations: On Facebook, users can send personal messages or post notes, images or videos to another user’s wall. The wall is there for all to see, while messages are between the sender and the receiver, just like an e-mail. Personal and private matters should never be shared on your wall. You wouldn’t go around with a bullhorn announcing a private issue to the world, and the same thing goes on the Internet. This falls under the nebulous world of social networking etiquette. There is no official handbook for this sort of thing, but use your best judgment. If it’s not something you’d feel comfortable sharing in person with extended family, acquaintances, work colleagues or strangers, then you shouldn’t share it on your Facebook wall.
6. Social Plans: Sharing your social plans for everybody to see isn’t a good idea. Unless you’re planning for a big party and inviting all the users you’re connected to, it will only make your other friends feel left out. There are also some security issues at stake here. Imagine a situation where a jealous ex-boyfriend or girlfriend knows that you’re meeting a new date out that night. What’s to keep the ex from showing up and causing a scene or even potentially getting upset or violent? Nothing, that’s what. If you’re planning a party or an outing with a group of friends, send a personal “e-vite” for their eyes only and nobody is the wiser. If you’re trying to cast a wide net by throwing out an idea for a social outing, just remember that anyone who has access to your profile sees it.
7. Photos of Your Kids and Family members: Social networking sites are a common place for people to share pictures of their families, but if you’re one of the 40 percent of users who don’t restrict access to your profile, then those pictures are there for everyone to see. It’s a sad fact, but there are a lot of predators who use the Internet to stalk their prey. If you post pictures of your family and information’s such as “Leaving for Party” “Someone is out of town” “your kid is alone at home” ” You are alone at home” such updates of your pics could out your life and your kids life at risk. Nobody ever thinks it will happen to them until it does, so safety first is a good default mode when using social networking sites. Just like with other private matters, send family photos only to a select group of trusted friends and colleagues who you know won’t share them. If someone uses Social Networking, he / she should need to make sure that his information is accessible only to those who are allowed not for others or public. Most of the people these days when they open their accounts on social network sites, they forget to utilize the safety options provided by the sites and put themselves in bad situations, so one needs to be very careful when they are sharing their pics, information and updates on social sites, use appropriate security methodologies provided with safeguard everyone from misuse.
8. Anything You Don’t Want Shared: You can select all the privacy settings you want on social networking sites, but the fact is, if you post it, it has the potential to be seen by someone you don’t want seeing it. You know all those fun Facebook applications, quizzes and polls you can’t help but fill out? A study performed by the University of Virginia found that of the top 150 applications on Facebook, 90 percent were given access to information they didn’t need in order for the app to function. So when you sign up to find out what sitcom star you most identify with, the makers of that poll now have access to your personal information. It’s anybody’s guess where it goes from there. Social networking is all about sharing, so something you think is in confidence can easily be shared and then shared again, and before you know it, someone you don’t even know has access to something private. “When in doubt, leave it out” is a good motto to follow. And always remember that anything you share has the potential to be leaked in some way.