How Much Information Is Too Much When It Comes To Facebook
P1. Facebook and all technology is a luxury and entertainment item in our lives. Our society revolves around internet and technology. If we like it or not our world is evolving and making advancements that force us to use technology. Social media plays an important role in impacting our views and beliefs and allowing us to seek help, advice and guidance from people we have never meet. Facebook allows anyone with an account to view their “friends” page and find any information they would like to know about the person. That is why it is extremely important when posting personal information about yourself that we keep it limited. When a person’s “Facebook friend” tags you in a picture, your friends followers not only can see your account but also look at what you have posted. We never know who is on the other end of the screen and what information they are looking for that will result in dangers. In the article “Dangers of Myspace and Facebook with Sexual Predators” by Micah McDunnigan, he talks about sexual predators hiding behind fake profiles to lure victims, using their profile information to stalk the victims in real life or evening hacking into account to blackmail them.
P2. Sexual predators have become very good hackers. A recent story by the Associated Press says predators in Indonesia were using Facebook to collect young teenage girls, and then kidnap and traffic them. When a 14-year-old girl received a Facebook friend request from an older man, she accepted it out of curiosity. The girl was quickly attracted to the attention the older man was giving her. They exchanged phone numbers and the predator convinced the young teen to meet him at a mall. This led to the young girl facing up against a 24 year old predator, he kidnapped, drugged and raped her. According to the article, there were seven more girls that month who fell into the same exact trap. Young teenagers are too trusting in Facebook. They think no harm can happen in talking to random people online. Teenagers have to be very carful who they are allowing to follow them and how much personal information they are posting.
P3. Before Facebook became popular sexual predators would have to leave their house seeking their next victim. Now they do not even have to leave their house lowering their chances of anyone seeing their face and getting themselves caught. Young adults are prime targets they are at a stage in their lives were their parents give them enough freedom where parents are not hovering over their child’s every move. They also act on impulse causing them to post everything that comes to mind even when they know it might get them in trouble. Young adults do not notice that even posting things about their personality traits or likes and dislikes might draw predators. Predators often target a certain group that attracts them. It might be blonde hair, blue eyes, and girls that have bubbly personalities. It also might be brown hair, brown eyed girls that are attracted to having the spotlight on themselves and like attention. It all depends on what the predator is attracted to. It usually is related to someone that has come through their lives and has made a big enough impact, either in a good or bad way, that has made them go for a certain type.
P4. It is challenging to detect who can be a threat or not on Facebook, especially when teenagers main concern is how many “followers or friends” they have on Facebook. Teenagers have this outlook that if they have the most friends on social media they are popular in real life. This is one thing that sex offenders look for, the number of friends or followers the at risk teens have, if the number is high they know that they will accept anyone. Teenagers need to make sure they are only allowing those they communicate with in the real world to follow them on Facebook. Predators may also use the contact information from the victims profile to arrange meetings in real life, where then they can strike and victimize their target. This is why it is extremely important when setting up a Facebook account that you manage your privacy settings where only the people you befriend can see your posts.
P5. Girls are considered to be the most at risk compared to boys for Internet sex crimes. Girls who become sexually active during early ages are vulnerable because they were most likely involved with older males. Boy who identify as gay or are questioning their sexuality are also at risk because they might find be trying to find answers. This result in them turning to the Internet to find answers to questions about sexuality or meet potential romantic partners, thats when they meet adults who exploit them according to “Myths,realities, and implications“.
P6. Sexual Predators can use Facebook to take their actions a step further to physically stalk their victims. This is why when posting it is very important to keep in mind to avoid posting where events are taking place and at what times and turn the location off in your privacy settings. In Micah McDunnigan’s article he states the dangers of posting personal information and interests and schedules. Predators can then use this information to locate and stalk their victims in the real world and not just online. According to an article in the Journal of Adolescent Health quoted by Enough is Enough, 65 percent of online sex offenders used social media sites to collect home and school information about their victims. Posting the at risk teens location makes it especially easy for a predators to find them.
P7. Facebook has become the “go to” social media networking site in the world allowing people to connect with family members from across the country, meeting people with the same beliefs and views either politically or spiritually, or reuniting with those you went to high school or college years ago. Facebook receives hundreds of new members everyday, it has hit a billion users after nine years since it first launched. Even though there is no way to entirely eliminate the dangers of predators on Facebook users can take precautions from becoming victims. Users should take steps to make sure there privacy settings are on and only people they know in the real world can see their profile and what they are posting. By having a secure password and changing it often users can lower the chances of someone hacking them. Finally users can protect themselves by only talking to people they know outside of social media.
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