Social security

Social networking websites have made it fun and easy to stay in touch with friends and family

Tags: Cyber crimeSymantec Corporation
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Social security
By  Jason Saundalkar , Clayton Vallabhan Published  April 12, 2011

Social networking websites have made it fun and easy to stay in touch with friends and family. However because these sites are so popular, cybercriminals now target them with the intent of exploiting you. Here we show you how to use popular social networking sites without worry.

Social networking has increased in popularity tremendously in the last few years. Facebook and Twitter are among the most popular websites in use today but there are many users who also prefer sites like Hi5, MySpace and Friendster.

By joining a social networking site you are effectively exposing yourself to hundreds of thousands of people who hail from every part of the globe. It’s a very real possibility then that some of these people are cybercriminals out on a mission to perpetrate crime, and if you aren’t careful, you could potentially be their next victim.

Social sites are extremely popular because they are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family.You can set up family albums and put up pictures of outings and events like birthdays etc. Social networking essentially allows you to share these memories on a single platform with hundreds of friends and relatives all over the world.

This virtual world can be a lot of fun however it also has its fair share of danger. In order to protect yourself or, if you’re a concerned parent, your child while he/she surfs on social networking sites like Facebook, always be aware and informed of how this powerful medium can be misused.

It’s for this very reason that most of these social networking sites specify a minimum age limit. (At the time of going to press for instance, Facebook’s minimum age limit stands at 13 years old.)

• 32% of teens surveyed said they’d been bullied, threatened or otherwise harassed online. Yet less than half of those teens reported it to their parents or another adult

• 32% of teens clear the browser history to hide what they do online from their parents

• 62% of children worldwide have had a negative online experience

• 41% of children have had someone they did not know try to add them as a friend on a social networking site

• 10% said an online stranger had tried to meet them in the real world

• 25% of children have seen violent or indecent images online

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