Facebook Dangers, Beware Of Social Networking Websites

Social networking sites have become very popular in recent times. The access to social networking sites like facebook has gone beyond laptops and desktops. Inexpensive smart phones have today incorporated facebook and twitter access at the touch of a button. Text, images and even video clips can be loaded to your facebook account right from your smart phone. 3G and other hi speed internet access give you that 'always connected' peace of mind. But is their only good brought in with the strong emergence and development of social network websites? We take a dig at the darker side of sites like facebook.


Publishers of social network websites have invested brain and time into creating a hot demand for their services. They now wait to milk the commercial benefits of their efforts. This means more of marketing hype and show to attract even more users to their social network website. Once this is accomplished they wait for 2 things to happen - a first is a take over by Google, Microsoft or Yahoo - the second is to make a fortune through commercial advertising. But for the user, lack of knowledge or an urge for excitement can cloud the dangers of careless use of these social network websites.


What people normally do with facebook.

- Open  a facebook account, with a username and access password.

- Fill in details related to name, location, date of birth, sex, hobbies, occupation etc.

- Upload photos or videos, generally personal or family related,

- Invite family and friends to become 'friends' on the social network.

- Make new friends - invite or get invitations from strangers.

- Try to attract members with similar interests.

- Sometimes use the social network to meet new 'friends' in real life.

- Corporate offices and celebraties might use it to get attention for commercial gains.


What facebook users often ignore or choose not to use.

The privacy options available in social networking websites are often ignored or not fully implemented by many facebook users. Lack of understanding or negligence could be the main reasons for this. There are some specific cases where facebook users want free and complete access to their facebook details by all users. This works to their benefit but, there are very few users who will actually benefit from complete public access to all the information that they disclose on facebook. Movie stars and other celebreties, corporate firms using facebook to attract interest to their products would benefit from complete public access to their facebook content. But for the majority of facebook users, lack of privacy can be harmful in more ways than one.


All that a person needs to open a facebook account is an email address and a password. There is obviously no screening of users done before accepting member registration, this would be a massive task. This applies to most if not all social network websites and is not limited to facebook alone. There are numerous online fraudsters who wish to join social network websites, their objective is not just to become friends or to exchange personal photos and information. Take a look at the image below, it was sent as a 'message' to a facebook users.

facebook frauds

Please note that the Privacy settings on Facebook cannot keep you 100% safe from online dangers.

This might appear similar to thousands of emails that we receive in our Inboxes each year. The get rich Nigerian scams set the trend for these frauds. Basically they exploit one widely present human trait GREED!. You are promised millions of dollars for doing nothing. You ofcourse get nothing and only end up losing a lot - deleting such emails is the best option.


Let us compare such emails sent to your email account with the message posted in a facebook users account. Assuming that your email address was easy@easymess.com the sender of the fraudulent email would never know your real name. Thousands of emails are sent randomly in what are known as 'phishing' scams. The email has no reference to actual name or address of the receiver. Back to facebook, the user would generally disclose actual name and surname, birthdate, location and profession. The phisher (fraudster) in this case can actually address the email by your real name. A more subtle type of online fraud as compared to the well known danger shown in the image, can catch you unawares.


There is more danger ahead, and some users depending on age, sex and mental condition could be more likely to fall prey to these dangers. Presuming that you have disclosed REAL and ACTUAL information related to full name, location, birthdate and place of work in your facebook profile - a person with bad intentions can steal your identity. For example, a user Mr.FRAUD NIGERIA could open a social network account on facebook or elsewhere with YOUR NAME, personal information. The fake account hitches on your identity and can be very convincing as it could have your photograph lifted from your facebook account too.


So these online fraudsters have ALL your information on hand, accessed from your social network website membership. It is technically possible to get a fake passport or fradulently open a fake bank account online using your information. Other type of frauds can also be commited using your name and photograph.


Sensitive information often revealed on social nework websites.

- Real name and surname.

- Address and phone number.

- Actual place of work, study or profession.

- Revealing family and friend circle, photographs and other details.

- Birthdate, location and current activity.

- Photographs of self, spouse, parents, friends, collegues.

- Information revealing your present mental condition or state of mind.

This is not a distant story, the issues mentioned here are already at your doorstep. It is time that we became aware of the dangers of this free sharing of personal information. Educate those around you and find ways to get the fun and magic of social networking websites WITHOUT exposing yourself to dangers. Send us your comments or suggestions at easyrambler@rocketmail.com we would love to hear from you.

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