Are you truly safe on social media?

Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn. These are all household names in a technologically advancing world that refuses to stop growing. Social media, virtual networks in which people can interact with friends, family, and colleagues, is extremely popular and has now become a way of life. In fact, the average person spends 3.2 hours a day on social media and 60 % of those people are on their smartphones- according to marketingcharts.com!  We spend so much time on our beloved social media sites but we never look back and ask whether these sites are actually safe.

Celebrities, businesses, and everyday citizens wish to get their name out on the internet to get known in their community and around the world. With over 1 billion active members a month on Facebook alone, there is no better way to get the word out that you are releasing a new album, a new product, or that you got an iced mocha latte from the nearest coffee shop. People regularly post their location, their phone numbers, addresses, and what they are doing every day; a massive amount of information that can fall in the wrong hands. With the posting of people’s location and whereabouts, thieves and criminals can use this to their advantage and do anything from robbing to scamming. Though this is not the intention of Facebook and other social media sites, information posted on these sites can be used for the wrong reasons. The National White Collar Crime Center has begun to investigate crimes through social media and, though it is a difficult task, the authorities have begun to crack down on Facebook thieves.

Crimes that can occur on the internet include: burglary via social networking, phishing, stalking, malware, and identity theft. These crimes are extremely dangerous and can be caused by posting information on the internet like your location, address, and phone numbers. The amount of crimes through social media are increasing everyday and the time has come for a change. The next time you or a loved one shares their location, think twice because you never know who’s watching.

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