Online Safety On Social Networks

Social Networks are as scary as they are fun. You never know when a relatively flippant interaction with an unknown stranger might turn out to be the most dangerous or fatal mistake of our lives. There are too many stories circulating about people who paid a heavy price of using one of the social network sites.

Of course, that doesn’t really mean that we need to stay off the social sites, for that is not something we advocate. It merely means that one must exercise a healthy dose of caution while using one of these popular sites and enjoying your time. One can’t be too careful in today’s world of the world wide web.

The internet promises one a lot of anonymity almost like the cloak of invisibility…where one can take complete advantage of the fact that they can be whoever they wish to be and that becomes a source of power that can be easily abused. Social networking sites like Facebook are special threats as they are storehouses of Personally Identifiable Information (PII).  You must be extremely careful in all your social interactions. Your password can be easily hacked over by a simple click on the ‘forget password’ button. A predetermined secret question is truly not a question and a hacker can very easily obtain the information, get into your site and take over your page. He or she can then completely get into your life and your privacy and that of your friends will be completely compromised.

Always make sure that you have put in a question of your own making, rather than picking one from the existing records as your ‘secret question’.

There are many other such attacks that you can possibly face while using a social networking site.

Malwares such as spywares etc can easily enter your system via social networking circuit or via emails. Key loggers maintain a detailed account of your activity including your password.

Phishing is another very common form of identity theft on social networking site. All a hacker needs to do is to create a mock login page. Those of us who aren’t’ really paying attention will easily reveal our names and passwords that can be abused later by the same hackers.

Brute force or repeated concentrated attempts at stealing a particular user’s password through focused diligence and effort. Some passwords are obvious and easy to guess, while others are complicated. Easy passwords can be identified very easily.

Now you must understand that there are some precautions available on the sites that will ensure that your identity is protected from any sort of theft or attacks.

The less visible you are over the network, the better it is for you. It becomes tougher for a hacker to take over your profile, if you are not visible to him or her.

Take advantage of the privacy settings and adjust it so that you are not visible to all and sundry.

Connect only with people you truly know and have met offline somewhere in the real life. Carelessness on social media has dire consequences and therefore it is advisable to remember the pitfalls at all times. Think before you post to stay safe and protected on a social networking site.

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