What exactly is social media? It basically means interacting with other humans via apps and websites: adding people as friends or following people, liking other people’s status and/or picture, commenting whatever they want under someone else’s picture, and chatting live. But, is it really safe to put personal information on social media? Even though people have the choice to make their profiles private, do they really know what they are signing up for when they choose “create account”? When people make a new account on any social media, they are asked to agree to the terms and condition, but since most people don’t read that because they are too excited to make that new account, it can lead to something else. People don’t realize that if they don’t fully understand the right way to share their life on the internet, it will result in giving away their privacy unintentionally.
According to netsmartz.org, most public schools are teaching kids about internet safety so that they know what’s safe to share online and what’s not. “Yet along with offering a fascinating, new way to connect with the world, the Internet also offers new risks: Cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate material, online predators and revealing too much personal information.” (Basic Internet Safety) Most children know about internet safety but as they grow up and are becoming more active on social media, do they still remember what they are taught, or are did they just check it off like the “I agree to the term and conditions” box? Internet safety teaches people to rethink their decisions about putting personal information online, such as full name, phone number, social security number, address, etc. One popular social media that’s being used worldwide is Snapchat. It is said that “the app’s 150 million users base to 217 million users by the end of 2017.”(Business Insider) For example, on Snapchat, people have geofilters, which is a filter which shows someone’s location at the moment they take a picture. Using those filters can be a nice thing, but it also gives the location of a person which can also be dangerous. If the user’s account happened to be hacked that one moment, the hacker will know the location of their victim because of the geofilter that he/she used. People often misunderstand that something as small as a geofilter could harm them because they use the geofilters to show their friends on their Snapchat where they are. A lot of people use geofilters when going on a vacation so that others can where they are in the world.
Another app that’s being used worldwide is Instagram. On Instagram, people share photos and videos of themselves, and now they also are doing a similar thing like snapchat where people can post up pictures and photos on their story so that people can see where they are. The difference between Snapchat and Instagram with their stories is that, the people who can see other’s snapchat stories are only friends, that are added, but on Instagram, whether or not they are following that person, their stories are public to everyone. Taking pictures of a girls night out, date night, etc, can be risky because of that. Even though people want to share with their social media friends, not everyone is nice. Someone with bad intentions can recognize the area that the picture or video was taken and they can harm the user. That can be a dangerous situation because people take pictures to share with others the beauty that they see or just to show the world something. Even though it’s not intentional to show the web a little privacy about a user, many predators use that as an advantage. Taking a picture of a favorite restaurant or a favorite place can lead to danger. Sometimes it’s not safe to even share a specific spot that’s often visited by family and friends.
It’s best to know that some information should be kept personal and some can be shared with the world. Before sharing and letting the world know the location or the neighborhood, just remember that not everyone online are nice. People that are posting their new house or new car can be in danger because someone out there on the internet can end up stealing or breaking into the new house or car, just because of a simple post. It’s a problem not only for the user but also for the society because that can be an advantage for people who have a purpose to harm others. Sharing favorite locations to go with family and friends can be a way that predators track a user. There are stalkers and predators on the internet, so sharing a picture that shows a neighborhood or a place that’s known can be dangerous to everyone.
By Acting as a Resource, Parents and Guardians Can Help Make the Internet a Safer Place for Their Families. As a Parent or Guardian, You Should Stay Well-informed about Current Issues to Understand What Your Children Are Experiencing on and off the Intern. "Basic Internet Safety."Basic Internet Safety. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2016. <http://www.netsmartz.org/InternetSafety>.
Shah, Saqib. "Snapchat Is on Target to Hit 217 Million Users by the End of next Year." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 25 Aug. 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016. <http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-on-target-for-217-million-users-by-end-of-2017-2016-8>.