There are many inherent dangers of social networking sites because of the way the websites work. One of the biggest dangers is fraud, sometimes having to do with identity theft. Because these sites are based on friends and the passing along of bits of personal information, thieves realized the potential instantly. There are endless social networking scams that crooks can try to pull off with this medium and we have only seen the “tip of the iceberg” so far.
The newest mainstream social network is Twitter. It’s based on people following others and getting to read their tweets of 140 characters or less. This is one of the dangers of social networking sites because many people want as many followers as possible and they aren’t shy about what they say in their tweets. This highlights the trouble with Twitter and many other social networking sites. Many people’s goals on these sites is to have as many friends as possible and they just don’t think before they message or add friends. Unfortunately, this sets them up to be victimized by one scam or the next.
The biggest social network in the world is Facebook. Started in 2004 by a Harvard student, this site has had a meteoric rise. Facebook has become a huge software platform that houses every application imaginable and millions of games and groups. This brings me to another one of the dangers of social networking sites.
With the goal of becoming bigger than big, can these sites really protect the average Jane or Joe while on their site? Yes, this should be up to the individual user, but certain things cannot be controlled by the user and when the site has 200 million users (100 million log in everyday!), how much resource can be used for protecting clients of the site?
With so many people logged in everyday that contribute personal information constantly, the crooks have followed and committed Facebook identity theft to get what they need. There are truly endless scams they have tried and will try to pull off on the social networks. There are thousands and thousands of Facebook impostors out there looking to make an easy buck or harass people they know. Be careful!
The social network that was dominating until recently is MySpace. MySpace identity theft like any other online identity theft, can be extremely dangerous for teenagers. With their brain still developing, it is very easy to take advantage of them by pretending to be someone else (usually a crush). There have been many cases like this and it devastates the teen when the criminal reveals that it was a hoax. Many teens have fallen into deep depression or even lost their life, an enormous tragedy and one of the biggest dangers of social networking sites.