The evolution of the internet has changed the world in a lot of incredibly significant and immensely obvious ways, one of those ways is social networking.
Some of these ways have to do with commerce and the way that people shop. Other ways have to do with the way companies market their products.
Also, there is the fact that the internet allows people to gather information in quick and efficient ways. One of the biggest ways, though, is one that was likely not predicted by many, and that’s to do with social networking.
Is It Really The Internet Gold Rush
Social networking on the internet has caught on so much that there are hundreds of millions of people belonging to one of several popular social media networks. These include sites like Facebook and MySpace where anybody can join, add content, and share their lives with friends and strangers in an ever-growing number of ways.
The Problem With Sharing To Much Information
The problem that has been arising more and more in recent years with social networking, is the part of all this in which things are shared with strangers. It’s a problem because that sharing isn’t always happening because people are willingly volunteering it.
Or, sometimes it happens as a result of unintended actions that social network users didn’t fully understand.
For example, in the worlds of social networking web sites like Facebook, MySpace and similar networking communities, people are able to share information about themselves with groups of friends. The part of this concept that many people haven’t fully grasped is how much of that information is available to be viewed by the extended network of friends.
That means that when person A shares information with person B, it’s quite often available to be viewed by person C, even though C and A aren’t a part of each others social networks. In the Facebook example, this often unintended breach of privacy happens because of the things people write on their friends’ virtual walls or through the controversial news feed that appears on everyone’s main page.
How Easily Can You Be Found Online
The fact that this is possible allows people to check up on others without them knowing. It is increasingly common for someone to look-up a new acquaintance on a social networking site by looking at one of their friend’s friend list. In that way, they can often learn about the new acquaintance through the many available and lauded tools of that network.
Are These Social Networking Privacy Breaches Really Harmless?
For the most part these privacy breaches are completely harmless. They are harmless because the information gained isn’t all that harmful and because the intent of those trying to access the information is usually completely innocent; however, this isn’t always the case.
The information shared between groups of friends on these networks can often be used to ill effect. Criminals can and have used it to take advantage of others for various purposes. Sometimes it’s a matter of common theft, because casing houses and things like that is much easier when photographs are so readily available.
Other times the results of these privacy breaches can come in the form of identity theft.
None of this means that social networking is bad and it doesn’t mean that it is dangerous. It simply means that people should be aware of the possible dangers and therefore more cognizant of what they are allowing to be posted on social networking sites and with-in these online communities.