Myspace, Facebook, and Common Sense

Some Practical Advice for Social Networking in the Internet

by Taylor Kilgore, age 14

Social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook are popular ways to keep in touch with friends and family. Although it may be fun to share your information on a social networking page, it is very easy to share too much.     Thousands of people will be able to and may end up seeing the information you post. If you are not careful, a perfect stranger can get a hold of your personal information. Here are some tips that you can use to avoid dangerous situations.    
                               
•    If there is something that you would not share with a stranger, do not post it.
   
     o    Information posted on these sites can potentially be viewed by college administrators, prospective employers,  and even complete strangers.

•    If you’re going to add a friend, make sure that it is someone you know, or a familiar face.
    
     o    When people are online they can pretend to be someone that they’re not.

•    Manage what pictures are available of you.
    
     o    Be cautious of what photos you post and who is allowed to view them.

•    Keep your personal information to yourself.
   
     o    Don’t post your social security number, address, phone number, or bank and debit card account numbers. It may seem harmless, but there are more than a few people who search these sites specifically looking for this type of information.

By being a part of a social networking site, you are already exposing yourself to certain risks. Every time you log on, you’re one click away from potential danger. So hear this advice readers: always be cautious when online. If you are planning to join a social networking site or you are using one now, follow these common sense tips.
 
  There are many horror stories about Internet safety, and we all know they’re true. Don’t become a statistic. Be smart and play it safe at all times.

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