Q:

What are the dangers of social networking sites?

A:

Quick Answer

Cyberbullying, identity theft, invasion of privacy and exposure to potentially offensive content are all dangers of social networking sites. Some of these risks create greater danger for younger or more vulnerable users.

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Full Answer

The term "social networking site" refers to online resources or communities that allow users to communicate with one another via the Internet. While these resources allow users to communicate content easily and efficiently, they can easily become dangerous when posting sensitive information.

In general, the more information a person posts about herself online, the greater risk she assumes. Once information is available on a social network, it can no longer be considered truly private. In addition to identity theft and harassment, providing too much information online can lead to offline threats because the information may reveal the person's general whereabouts or when her home is left unattended.

Using discretion when posting personal information is an important step in personal and identity protection. Information such as home address, birthday, place of employment or family details all present risks. While the safest way to prevent this information from becoming a threat to safety is to keep them offline entirely, privacy filters can allow sharing of this information selectively with trusted friends and family.

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