More or less every person is joining the Social Networking Websites these days so are the hackers and antisocial elements and this newest trend has formed enormous troubles of online frauds, identity-crisis, and numerous other Internet crimes. This article is very special as I have tried to cover some of the most-recent warnings by several online authoritarian commissions to secure your online-Information.
The Police Minister of UK gave warning this March that criminals were exploiting social networking websites to steal personal information and steal people’s identities (Richard Ford writes). Tony McNulty urged the public to be cautious about the personal details that they put on networking sites such as Facebook. He said: There are certainly hints that there are people fishing through Facebook and other social network sites to elicit personal information which could go towards identity theft.
1. How SAFE is Information Online?
It all depends upon what Information you are posting on-line, If it’s limited to your Name, Sex, And hobbies, It may not be very harmful toyou but if you are posting, your house or business addresses, personal or business email addresses, social security number (including even just the last 4 digits) or phone numbers, with or without other confidential details, you increase the chances of someone to deceive you.
2. Dangers of Social Networking:
According to Fraud And Scam News, Social networking has caught on like a rage in the internet world. This is best illustrated by the fact that MySpace, within years of setup, has grown to be the third most popular website on the internet with a base of 98 million users.
This overwhelming popularity can lead people to turn a blind eye to the risks that it involves. More alarmingly, the Social Networking Report released by the UK government agency OFCOM reveals that most subscribers to these services consciously ignore security as a concern.
A survey conducted by the agency revealed that most users excuse themselves from worrying by assuming:
- the website to be responsible and therefore taking care of all security issues.
- personal ignorance or technological incompetence to be able to act on their concerns.
- that personal information they submit would be hard to find online.
3. Do And Don’ts of Social Networking Sites, According to :
Do update your profile regularly.
“Keep your profile updated, even when you’re not looking for a job,” recommends Patrice-Anne Rutledge, author of “The Truth About Profiting from Social Networking.” “Recruiters love to find top-notch passive job candidates and having a current profile can help you land your dream job when you least expect it.”
Don’t badmouth your current or previous employer.
You know that griping about your current boss is a grave error during an interview, and it’s just as detrimental on your profile. Give hiring managers the idea that eventually you’ll be tarnishing their image if you part ways with the company and you’ll be crossed of their lists of candidates.
Also, if you’re currently employed, don’t forget any confidentiality and conduct agreements you’ve signed, Vergara reminds. You don’t want to violate your contract and end up jobless while you hunt for a new position.
Do join groups…selectively.
One of the fun elements of networking sites is that you can connect with other people who share your same interests and have your quirky sense of humor. Thus you end up with virtual groups like “I Drink More Beer than Water.” The silly group might seem harmless enough to you, but for a hiring manager trying to find a mature candidate for an open position, it doesn’t leave a great impression.
“No one is going to hire the consultant doing the keg stand or the lawyer that belongs to the anarchist forum,” says Patricia Sanchez-Abril, an expert on privacy and networking sites and professor of business law at the University of Miami. Instead opt for groups that show your professional aspirations or social involvement, such as an organization for advertising professionals or the charity you volunteer at.
Don’t mention your job search if you’re still employed.
If your boss knows you’re on the lookout for a new job, then by all means let it be known. However, if you’re attempting to keep your search below the radar, Vergara recommends restraint. Even if your boss isn’t your online friend, somebody can get the information back to him or her.
Do go on the offensive.
If you want to use your networking profile as a tool, review the pictures you’ve uploaded, the personal information you’ve disclosed and any personal blogs or sites you’ve linked to. Don’t wait until you’re interviewing to go back and clean up your profile because the hiring manager probably already had a look.
“Get rid of your digital dirt,” says Rutledge. “A large percentage of recruiters ‘Google’ potential candidates to see what they can find out about them — both the good and the bad. Be sure that you don’t have any information on social networks or other sites that could make a recruiter decide to pass on you as a job candidate.”
Don’t forget others can see your friends.
Unless you’ve opted to keep your friends list private, your friends can see the contacts you’ve made. So in addition to keeping your friends’ risqu pictures and comments off of your profile, be cautious about whom you friend and when.
4. From where I can read more Information About Social Networking Sites:
To learn more about staying safe online, visit the following organizations:
Federal Trade Commission www.OnGuardOnline.gov
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.govor call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
The FTC manages OnGuardOnline.gov, which provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.
GetNetWise is a public service sponsored by Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations to help ensure that Internet users have safe, constructive, and educational or entertaining online experiences. The GetNetWise coalition wants Internet users to be just one click away from the resources they need to make informed decisions about their and their family’s use of the Internet.
Internet Keep Safe Coalition www.iKeepSafe.org
iKeepSafe.org, home of Faux Paw the Techno Cat, is a coalition of 49 governors/first spouses, law enforcement, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other associations dedicated to helping parents, educators, and caregivers by providing tools and guidelines to teach children the safe and healthy use of technology. The organization’s vision is to see generations of children worldwide grow up safely using technology and the Internet.
Founded in 1998 and endorsed by the U.S. Congress, i-SAFE is a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting the online experiences of youth everywhere. i-SAFE incorporates classroom curriculum with dynamic community outreach to empower students, teachers, parents, law enforcement, and concerned adults to make the Internet a safer place. Join them today in the fight to safeguard children’s online experience.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children www.missingkids.com; www.netsmartz.org
NCMEC is a private, non-profit organization that helps prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; helps find missing children; and assists victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them.
National Crime Prevention Council www.ncpc.org; www.mcgruff.org
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to enable people to create safer and more caring communities by addressing the causes of crime and violence and reducing the opportunities for crime to occur. Among many crime prevention issues, NCPC addresses Internet Safety with kids and parents through www.mcgruff.org and public service advertising under the National Citizens Crime Prevention Campaign symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog and his Take A Bite Out Of Crime.
National Cyber Security Alliance www.staysafeonline.org
NCSA is a non-profit organization that provides tools and resources to empower home users, small businesses, and schools, colleges, and universities to stay safe online. A public-private partnership, NCSA members include the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Trade Commission, and many private-sector corporations and organizations.
staysafe.org is an educational site intended to help consumers understand both the positive aspects of the Internet as well as how to manage a variety of safety and security issues that exist online.
Wired Safety www.wiredsafety.org
WiredSafety.org is an Internet safety and help group. Comprised of unpaid volunteers around the world, WiredSafety.org provides education, assistance, and awareness on all aspects of cybercrime and abuse, privacy, security, and responsible technology use. It is also the parent group of Teenangels.org, FBI-trained teens and preteens who promote Internet safety.
Safe Social Networking website has several helpful resources, Which are available at http://www.safesocialnetworking.com/
5. Tips for Safe Social Networking:
Mitchell Ashley has posted 12 tips for safe social networking on Mon, 10/13/08 in Network World and some of the tips mentioned in the article are:
- Protecting yourself from sharing Too Much Information (TMI) can save you from identity theft and even protect your physical safety.
- Social networking sites increasingly give users more control over their own privacy settings. Don’t assume you have to take whatever default settings the site gives you.
- Would you put your full resume online for everyone to see? Probably not. It would be too easy for identity thieves to use the information to fill out a loan application, guess a password security question (like hackers did with VP candidate Sarah Palins Yahoo account) or social engineer their way into your company’s network. Limit your work history details on sites like LinkedIn.
- There are lots of reasons (most of them bad) why someone might impersonate or falsify an identity online. It could be as a prank or for fun such as those who impersonate a celebrity as satire. Faking an identity has a legit side too it can be used by people who simply want to conceal who they are in order to protect their real identities. But its also the first step of those who want to embarrass or defame someone else by impersonating them, or steal an identity for financial gain or other crimes. Two security researchers demonstrated at the Defcon/Black Hat 2008 conference how easy it is to set up a Facebook or LinkedIn site using a false or impersonated identity, including links to malicious sites.