The Hazards of Using Facebook

The Hazards of Using Facebook

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.

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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.

The Hazards of Using Facebook

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:
    1. Click “Account->Account Settings” in the upper-right corner.
    2. With the list of account settings, click the “Change” link beside “Account Security”.
    3. Under “Secure browsing (https)”, check the “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible” checkbox.
    4. 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.

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24 Responses to “The Hazards of Using Facebook”

  1. Vanessa Wilkins says:

    I was once addicted to a few Facebook games, but with a family finding time for such games is far and few between. That’s not limited to facebook. Like everyone else, i believe, i also got addicted to those games.

  2. Lenore Alexander says:

    I hope I have not let in any unwanted intruders in my private world through Facebook as of now. Always a pleasure reading your posts – so much relevant information. I also stopped playing facebook games. I used to play a few games myself, but I always used another account – one that isn’t really personal.

  3. Genie says:

    Thank you for sharing this invaluable information Paul. I hope I have not let in any unwanted intruders in my private world through Facebook as of now. I will now implement that secure connection safety measure you mention. Always a pleasure reading your posts – so much relevant information.

  4. A. Tatum Jr says:

    Security settings is the biggest failure by most people. I also stopped playing facebook games. Don’t want to leave a possible back door open.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I used to play a few games myself, but I always used another account – one that isn’t really personal. I found that the games were taking too much time so I eventually dropped them.

  5. Amit says:

    Like everyone else, i believe, i also got addicted to those games. Mostly Mafia Wars. Fortunately i have experience with these kind of addictions, see Starcraft, and i’m pass the age i have nothing better to do all day but play games. At my age, if i don’t work i end up in the street.

  6. Andrew Walker says:

    Well for me…the only hazard from using Facebook is only one thing. It’s giving me difficult times in concentrating on my works. LOL!

  7. Argie Monroy says:

    Nice one Paul ! I do agree with you. Social media giants not only Facebook are incurring hazards to every internet users around the world. Sad to say, its almost impossible to put an end to this though.

  8. Nice points. But the thing you mentioned about hacking passwords in a shared wifi connection. That’s not limited to facebook. That can happen while using any website. There is a firefox extension called firesheep which allows you to accomplish that..

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I agree. Firesheep can pretty much hack any unsecured wireless connection. I specifically mentioned Facebook since most of the readers are probably on the social network and don’t realize the dangers of using Facebook with an unsecured network. You have made a great point, though.

  9. Services marketing mix says:

    Hazards of facebook…LOL… but well said..
    Its taking up too much of productive work nowdays and thus impacting overall job performance
    Good topic, and great points made..

  10. Andrew says:

    Nice tips in this post.

    I also think it’s important to understand the privacy implications of the applications you connect to in Facebook. I know some in the past have sent personally identifiable info out to various tracking companies and advertisers, and some I feel like a lot of people don’t know they’ve authorized some game they’re playing to post on their wall, for example. Always be sure to check the settings of any apps you’ve authorized.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      The privacy of information with regards to the games has been an issue in the past, and will probably be going forward. Not many people realize the information that they are sending when they use those games. On top of that, many people friend complete strangers because they play the same game, and then share personal information because of the friendship on Facebook.

  11. Lisa says:

    Well, we have heard all over the world that there were some women who were killed and raped due to adding unfamiliar people on friends list. It’s pretty important to screened the people to add or accepting friend’s request. Be choosy to people whom we call as friends.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I have heard stories with regards to what you described. It is important to understand that whoever you add may be able to get personal information about your – even information you may not wish to share.

  12. gege jhordan says:

    Me too! I never add people that I don’t know. I always play safe. Thanks for your post, now I know how to set up security in my facebook account. I also want to share, about the bullies in facebook. Just ignore them!

  13. Brena Fint says:

    I also suggest that never add people on your facebook that you do not know…This is for your privacy and safety as well…

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I never add people that I don’t know. Many people do so because it is important to have many friends when playing those Facebook games, but they don’t know they security risk that are running by doing so.

  14. TrafficColeman says:

    Keep your private info to yourself if you don’t want to end up sad. Some people are out there just to make noise, so don’t allow them to get to you because they will. So have the right settings in place.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I agree. The first thing I did was remove the ability for search engines to index my Facebook profile and also hid my profile from Facebook search. I also sort my friends into lists so I can limit what lists of friends can see and what they cannot see.

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