Although there are many benefits to using social networking there are also risks. Some of the risks that you may face are:
Loss of privacy – Once you start using social networking sites it is very easy to supply more and more information about yourself. There will be certain information that you are required to give to sign up for your account on a social networking web site, however, many user add more information. Typical information includes name, location, age and gender.
Identity Theft – This is where someone steals another person’s online identity. They usually do this to so something illegal, such as, get a credit card under the other person’s identity and then use the credit card to buy things for themselves. This is one of the reasons that you should always be very careful about what personal information you type in. For example, it would be very unwise to type in your banking details and passwords.
Cyber-bullying – This involves one or more social networking users abusing another user through the social networking web site. This bullying or anti-social behaviour ranges from mild insults to severe threats and abusive language. This type of behaviour is unacceptable and may lead to the people doing it being banned from using the social networking site or in more serious cases criminal prosecution.
Computer security threats – There are many threats that your computer system can be exposed to when using the web and social networking web sites. Some of these risks include computer viruses, computer hacking and other malicious or nuisance software, such as adware. In order to protect your computer system when you are online it is recommended that you install and keep up to date firewall software (to prevent hackers getting into your system) and anti-virus software (to stop your computer from being infected by dangerous computer viruses).
Wasting time – You may find yourself spending more and more time on the social networking which may have a negative impact on the rest of your life. Social networking should be fun and even an important part of your life but it should not take over your life.