Facebook is become the leader in the social network space, and with it there are also hazards of using Facebook that everyone should be aware of. Over the past few years, Facebook has been in the news for both good and bad reasons. The bad reasons, however, seem to be the ones that linger for months after they have occurred, with security usually at the forefront of the conversations.
Facebook has over 500 million members, and I have heard it can be as high as 750 million. With those 500+ million members it also has the responsibility of managing a massive amount of personal information, videos, photos, etc. from those members. This is a huge undertaking to say the least, but with such responsibility there is also the adverse affect of causing many issues.
What are the Hazards of Using Facebook?
Over the past few years there has been much published about Facebook and the hazards of using Facebook. Everything from viruses, to obtaining personal information has been discussed. The stealing of Facebook sessions has been a hot topic, which can lead to unauthorized account access.
People use Facebook for different reasons. Some may use it to promote a business or web site, while many others may simply use it to keep in touch with old friends, and distant family members. Still there are others that use Facebook to find new online acquaintances or play addictive online games. Whatever the reason for using Facebook, you must ensure you understand the hazards of using Facebook.
Some of the issues with Facebook include:
- Providing too much information and keeping your profile open can lead to many problems, including identity theft, or job firings. It has happened in the past so you need to be careful what you post to Facebook.
- Addictive online gaming. This can be both time-consuming and anti-social if you spend all your time on Facebook playing games. The games can become as bad an addiction as gambling.
- It was discovered that when using an unsecured wireless network, your Facebook session could be retrieved by someone on the same wireless network. From there they can gain access to your Facebook profile.
The above hazards can be very serious, especially if you have a lot of personal information stored within Facebook.
Limiting the Hazards of Using Facebook
With regards to many of the hazards that were listed above, there are ways that you can minimize the risk of using Facebook. There are a few safeguards that you can take to keep yourself protected while using Facebook.
- If connecting to Facebook over a wireless network, ensure that it is a secured wireless connection. If this isn’t possible you should enable secure browsing by using the following steps:
- Click “Account->Account Settings” in the upper-right corner.
- With the list of account settings, click the “Change” link beside “Account Security”.
- Under “Secure browsing (https)”, check the “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible” checkbox.
- Click the “Save” button.
- Limit the amount of time that you spend on playing online games within Facebook. This point may be difficult, but if you are addicted to games it can interrupt your life in big way. It is important to not spend too much time online with Facebook games but to be responsible with how much time you spend.
- This is probably the biggest point – only share information about yourself that you are comfortable with sharing. If you have many of your friends on Facebook, then they would already know such information as your phone number. You don’t need to share it with everyone that friends you. Sometimes you should just keep your personal information personal.
As with many things in life, using common sense can protect you from the hazards of using Facebook.