Staying Safe with Social Networking Websites

When it comes to internet safety, a large amount of focus has been placed on teenagers and the use of social networking websites. Although it is important for teenagers to be careful when using these popular websites, they are not the only ones who should be concerned with their safety. If you are an adult, who enjoys networking online, you should also be cautious when it comes to meeting and communicating with other internet users.

 

Although social networking websites are a great place to meet other internet users, especially ones with interests that are similar to yours, they can also be dangerous. In recent years, there have been numerous reports of instances when individuals were harmed when they went to meet an individual that they met on an online social network, which includes dating websites. If you are not careful and cautious, the same thing could happen to you. This does not mean that you should be filled with fear; however, it does mean that you need to be cautious online.  

 

Be Cautious In Posting Contents

One of the many ways that you can protect yourself, when it comes to using online social networking websites, is by watching what you post online, particularly in your profile. You may not know this, but a large number of networking sites, including MySpace, FriendFinder, and Yahoo! 360 allow all internet users to see your profile or profile page. These internet users do not necessarily have to be a member of your online community. This means that although your networking community may be safe, there are still unsavory individuals out there who could easily obtain your personal information. 

In addition to the information that you make available to other internet users, including member profiles, you are advised to be cautious when making contact with other internet users, especially those that contact you. A large number of social networking websites have open memberships. Essentially, this means that anyone can easily join and become a member. Just because someone says they are who they are doesn’t necessarily mean that they are telling the truth. If at any point during your conversations you feel that you are speaking with someone who is making you feel comfortable or not telling the truth, you are advised to end your conversation. 

 

Know Who You Are Adding

For many individuals it is enough to chat with others online, but for some it is not enough. Whether you are asked to meet with an online friend or if you initiated the meeting yourself, you are advised to be cautious. You will not want to meet with an individual who you have only known online for a short period of time. For safety reasons, it is advised that you speak with one of your online friends at least a month before agreeing to meet with them. If and when that meeting does take place, you are urged to have it in a public place. That way if your meeting does not go as well as you had originally planned, you will be able to ensure your safety by having others around you.

The above mentioned precautionary measures are just a few of the many that you should take. Although you may be worried about hurting someone’s feelings or losing an online friend, you shouldn’t be. Your safety is far too important to be concerned with what others will be thinking or feeling.  

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