Precautions while using Social Networking Sites
Social Networking Sites ranked by a combination of continually updated traffic statistics.
1. What are social networking sites
Social networking sites, sometimes referred to as friendofafriend sites, build upon the concept of traditional social networks where you are connected to new people through people you already know. The purpose of some networking sites may be purely social, allowing users to establish friendships or romantic relationships, while others may focus on establishing business connections. Although the features of social networking sites differ, they all allow you to provide information about yourself and offer some type of communication mechanism (forums, chat rooms, email, instant messenger) that enables you to connect with other users. On some sites, you can browse for people based on certain criteria, while other sites require that you be introduced to new people through a connection you share. Many of the sites have communities or subgroups that may be based on a particular interest.
2. What security implications do these sites present
Social networking sites rely on connections and communication, so they encourage you to provide a certain amount of personal information. When deciding how much information to reveal, people may not exercise the same amount of caution as they would when meeting someone in person because 1the internet provides a sense of anonymity. 2The lack of physical interaction provides a false sense of security. 3they tailor the information for their friends to read, forgetting that others may see it. 4they want to offer insights to impress potential friends or associates. While the majority of people using these sites do not pose a threat, malicious people may be drawn to them because of the accessibility and amount of personal information thats available. The more information malicious people have about you, the easier it is for them to take advantage of you. Predators may form relationships online and then convince unsuspecting individuals to meet them in person. That could lead to a dangerous situation. The personal information can also be used to conduct a social engineering attack. Using information that you provide about your location, hobbies, interests, and friends, a malicious person could impersonate a trusted friend or convince you that they have the authority to access other personal or financial data.
3. Limit the amount of personal information you post
Do not post information that would make you vulnerable, such as your address or information about your schedule or routine. If your connections post information about you, make sure the combined information is not more than you would be comfortable with strangers knowing. Also be considerate when posting information, including photos, about your connections.
4. Remember that the internet is a public resource
Only post information you are comfortable with anyone seeing. This includes information and photos in your profile and in blogs and other forums. Also, once you post information online, you cant retract it. Even if you remove the information from a site, saved or cached versions may still exist on other peoples machines.
5. Be wary of strangers
The internet makes it easy for people to misrepresent their identities and motives. Consider limiting the people who are allowed to contact you on these sites. If you interact with people you do not know, be cautious about the amount of information you reveal or agreeing to meet them in person.

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