Dave’s Computer Tips: The Risks of Going Social

risks of social networking

by Dave Hartsock in Daves Computer Tips

The risks and benefits of using social networking

Unless you’re living in North Korea, it’s more than obvious that social media has taken over the internet. Facebook is predicted to reach 1 billion users by August. Sites you once knew and love are now asking their users to get “social” by interacting with one another and having everybody “follow” each other (looking at you, Springpad). Some websites now are even requiring you to grant the site access to your twitter or facebook accounts before you can even use the site’s services. Web 2.0 is upon us, and like it or not, we all have to share. At least, that is what we are increasingly pressured to do. If you like something you read, you better “like” it on facebook too. Did your friend say something witty on twitter? Well you’d better retweet it. How was that new restaurant you tried last night? Why don’t you type up a review on foursquare and share it on Google+.

Social networking may be ubiquitous now, but not everyone has been given an equal opportunity with it. With much of what happens on the internet, in the media, and during our daily lives influenced by people’s interactions over social networking, it is just understood that we all know and use sites like facebook and twitter. If you were late to the game, or if you’ve held out on signing up for social networking services for one reason or another, you likely feel out of the loop. Even those of us who use social media everyday can at times lose focus on why such sites exist and what we stand to gain from spending so much time there. Believe it or not, there was a time before social media (I have to remind myself of this weekly). We can live and exist and function without it. Still, social networking provides and facilitates opportunities and connections that would have been near impossible 5 years ago. These are just some of the reasons I wanted to write a sort of introduction to social media. I’d like to offer some risks and benefits associated with social networking, because web citizens everywhere can benefit from knowing what it means to store your life online.

Risks of using social networking

The risks of using social media sites can be classified into three main categories: privacy, security, and time. Signing up for and subsequently using social media opens one up for rather unique concerns relating to the privacy of personal information and intellectual property. Further, your physical, personal, and computer security should be considered when using facebook, twitter, and the like. Finally, there are a few temporal concerns brought up when discussing the risks of social networking.

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This excerpt is shared with permission from davescomputertips.com.

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