How do you feel about using social media and giving away all your private details, such as your name, perhaps the city you live in, your age, your birthday and more? Have you ever though about the possible implications this could bring to you and if yes, how concerned are you REALLY about security and safety?
Surprisingly enough, many Internet users don’t seem to worry about the protection of their identity. They give away private info freely, leaving them open to identity theft, burglary and more. One instance I can remember was last year, when popular blogger David Airey announced an upcoming trip, only to be cracked out of his own website while he was in transit.
It took the guy a couple of anxious weeks to get authority back for his own domain and it would have cost him time, money and a lot of nerves. While this doesn’t directly relate to social networks, it just shows that trust is perhaps a false sense of security when we do business online – especially with strangers.
This example indicates that perhaps it isn’t such a good idea to tell your blog readers of an upcoming holiday after all.
False sense of security
Social media sites offer many potential issues with safety and security. Just imagine how easy it would be for a stalker to get hold of your physical address. I think it would be quite easy for a nasty person to break into any social media profile and steal your information.
Maybe I’m wrong, but an article on Mashable certainly confirmed what I had secretly been worrying about for some time. Social networks prompt us to throw caution in the wind and trust each other, based on our needs to create a social environment.
It is a false sense of security many take for granted. It all starts with your name, your birthday and your address. How many social media sites ask you to reveal your birthday as part of the sign up process? I think it is fair to say there are many. Do you give out this information freely, or do you cheat to protect your private information? Without trying to sound too worried, I think that by giving others the power to access our private details, we basically hand them an invitation to abuse.
If you look at what the University of Colorado has to say about this, you soon see that by giving out your details such as the ones mentioned above, it will be very easy for a perpetrator to steal the rest in order to steal your identity.
Another trap lurks if you access these networks or anything private through a wireless device such as a laptop, a mobile phone, a PDA or even a Blackberry. If the device isn’t secured properly you could be hacked and lose important private information.
And it’s not just strangers that could pose a problem. More often than not, people we are scammed by family and so called friends.
No reason to panic but be wary
I think while all this is certainly cause for concern, you don’t have to panic just yet. However, it will help you to be cautious and think twice before you give out all your private details on those social networks, or even your blog.
The fact that we are hidden away from people on the Internet might well lull us into a false sense of security that could have an ugly outcome.
Does your security concern you? If it does, what do you do to protect your identity without losing your chances to network?