The Secret Dangers of Facebook

Facebook boasts more than 500 million users, a staggering statistic considering that the social networking giant has come under serious scrutiny in recent years over privacy concerns. This scrutiny has resulted in Facebook undergoing several changes, including the establishment of a new Help Center to advise users on the best ways to stay safe and protect their privacy online. Still, one wonders if after all that, we’re still at risk. Below is a list of several hidden risks to using Facebook.

  1. You are what you post. If you write about a night full of drinking, your online reputation could be tarnished. You could be labeled as a party animal, and employers are watching. According to a 2009 survey conducted by Microsoft, 79% of hiring managers and job recruiters in the United States review online information about prospective employees, and 70% of those surveyed said they’ve actually rejected applicants based on their findings. Similarly, negative posts about your current job, employer or coworkers could lead to you being fired.
  2. You are what your friends post. If a friend talks about drinking and drugging 24/7 or posts inappropriate remarks on your wall, consider removing them from your friend list in order to avoid looking guilty by association.
  3. Third parties may view your profile. Always keep personal information like your birthdate, social security number, address, phone number, marital status, etc. off your profile for this reason.
  4. Facebook apps can put your privacy at risk. Be cautious when using Facebook applications because many insist that you give them access to your entire profile and wall postings. They could share your information with other third parties and put your privacy (and your friends’ privacy) at further risk.
  5. Facebook ads could contain malware. Clicking on an advertisement may lead to a virus. Facebook does its best to screen all their advertisements, but dangerous ads sometimes get through, putting you at risk.
  6. Your profile is viewed by many people. Unless you’ve changed your privacy settings, a lot of people can view your profile.  Check your settings on a monthly basis to ensure that your privacy is protected at all times.
  7. Your photos identify you. Scammers can easily identify you from your photograph. Think twice when posting personal photos unless your privacy settings are secure and frequently managed.
  8. Your username may put you at risk. Using your real name as your username can help scammers identify you or locate you offline.
  9. Revealing your location may put you at risk. Divulging your whereabouts, even just within your status, could make you vulnerable for an in-person confrontation, a home robbery, or put you at risk for cyberstalking.

We want to know what you think! Were you aware of these potential dangers of using Facebook?  Do you have any to add to our list? Start the conversation by posting a comment below.

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5 Responses »

  1. thank you for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting information. "Things have never been more like the way they are today in history." by Dwight D Eisenhower.

  2. The only thing I could think of is that you would have to personally go into his FB account and take some of the things off. I'm not sure there is any filter to control that.

  3. i had clicked on a spam which was in a video of marika fruscio and i liked it so many times now what i have to do with this and how its is harmful for me and what i do to secure myself from this spam plz reply me as soon as possible please........thanks

  4. My 14yr old son has been accessing Facebook pages whose sexual content is, in my opinion, inadequate for him. I know this because I'm his friend, so I'm told when he 'likes' a page such as Lesbians. I am uncomfortable with this, and have tried to put in a filter ( I have his password and unlike each unfit page) but cannot find a way to do this. In YouTube there is a safety mode which works wonders. Does anything of the sort exist on Fb? I was well aware of all the privacy issues, but did not expect the threat to be a legal page within the network. These pages are fine for adults, no porn or nudity, but some photos are just too explicit for 13year old kids. Can you help me? Cheers!

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