Is Your Social Network Involvement a Plus Or a Disaster Waiting to Happen?

Daily men and women from around the globe join Social Networks because they "heard" it's necessary to join in the social network craze. Although Social Networks can be a great way to connect with family, friends, colleagues, current clients, potential clients and high school buddies they can also be a complete waste of time and a open invitation for trouble we often don't think about.

In virtually every Social Network you belong to, you will likely need to set up a profile. A profile gives information to others about who you are. This is where Social Networks can either work in your favor or be your worst nightmare. The amount you can put in your profile is determined by the rules of that Social Network. Additionally what you add in is based on hat you want people to know about you and what is safe for them to know.

Here are a few tips to assure a robust profile and yet one that doesn't open you up for unforeseen problems. The social media world is about you connecting with others. Avoid being too "dry" in building your profile. Add your own personality in such a way that regardless of who reads it, listens to it or sees it, you are comfortable with what you share.

As you develop your profile, spend time building a solid profile. Rather than simply putting your name and birth date up, what else would you like people to know about you? You can add in pictures, a bio, your geographic location, marital status, religious leanings and political persuasion to name just a few of the items for a profile.

Precautions

Internet security experts have great concerns for the lack of information many people have regarding how to protect themselves from scams in Social Networks. Realize that not everyone is who they say they are and if you give too much information, you could be setting yourself up for major problems.

The reason social networking sites are extremely vulnerable is because the communities are set up with what we like to believe is an element of trust. In most cases, we don't expect to be ripped off or scammed by other users which make users easy targets.

It's not that you have to be paranoid; it simply means you need to be cautious.

Here's a great example: Lots of people post personal information like their full birth date for everyone to see, including the year. This is not the best choice. Showing your full birth date is simply an invitation to unscrupulous people who are looking for easy victims for identity theft.

Another example: Avoid giving too much information about when you are going to be away from your home. "George and I are going to be vacationing for a month in the Bahamas. I hope my plants are okay when I return."

If that isn't an invitation for problems, I don't know what is.

Yet more: Be cautious of links you click on in messages for software downloads or using new applications. Even it if comes from someone you know, it can contain a virus. Keeping your Internet security software up to date creates the first line of defense against this sort of attack. Just as with email, don't automatically assume that every message you receive is from the person who sent it.

Here are just a handful of things to be aware of:

** Hackers

** Scammers

** Criminals

** Impersonators

** False identity

** Identity theft

** Sending and receiving spam

Reduce this danger by limiting the amount of information you post on your profile page and listing an email address that you set up specifically for your Social Networking activities.



Source by Kathleen Gage

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