The advantage of joining different social networks is experienced through increased communication between friends, professional and businesses. With the help of social networking, connecting to friends and family is now easier since no matter where everyone is located. All everyone needs is internet connectivity so that their network could be updated with their activities.
For professionals, social networking could help in terms of connecting to person that can boost their career. Social networking is even used to prove the legitimacy or credibility of the individual. From entertainment, information to career improvement, social networking has practically changed the way people communicate and interact online.
But social networks still have to face certain challenges especially on the users’ end since these challenges could harm users and the social network’s reputation. It is important for users of social network to consider these issues that surround the social network. By remembering these challenges, users will be able to protect themselves from negative repercussions on some issues on social network.
Privacy as the Main Concern
The number one problem users as well as social network administrators face everyday is security. It can happen in any given time with or without the user online. Attacks on different social networking website are always a possibility because the data protected by social networks are too precious to be ignored by attackers. Viruses, spywares and worms that aim to crawl through security protocols of social networks are constantly threatening social networks.
Considerable time and resources are always spent by social networks in order to maintain privacy of their users. A single attack could make every user vulnerable to security related problems such as identity theft.
Access to social networking websites varies. Some website will allow any user to access information of persons even though they are not part of the user’s network while some social network prohibit access to any form of information without confirmation from the profile owner. Problems regarding information access could be completely controlled by user but unauthorized access could still happen especially for those who are just starting to understand the rules of different social networks.
Every social network provides real time notification usually through email if there are any changes in the user’s profile. But most notifications are very limited and they are usually on the positive things that happened on the social network. For example, when a request to connect is asked, the user will automatically be notified through email or any messaging system the user prefers. But social networks will never inform the user if someone willingly removes their connection. This is done to avoid confrontations between users which significantly affect the relationship.
Misuse of Social Networks
Unfortunately, there are those who use social network for scams and other illegal purposes. There have been reports around the world that social networks are used to spread rumors, lies or degrading messages that could affect the person’s reputation. “Cyber bullying” or an act of being hostile to another user online has also been observed in some social networks.
This type of actions should never be allowed in any social network. Users have to be careful on the veracity of the data they receive and to take actions as soon as possible as soon as something undesirable is found on social networks.
Protection for Children
Aside from privacy and misuse of social networks, the vulnerability of minors is also a big problem for all social networks. While some social networks are geared towards adults, most social networks are open to everyone – including minors. Unfortunately, minors on social networks could become targets of sexual predators that can cloak their real identity in different social networks.
While some legislators have taken steps in preventing these offenders from using social networks these efforts could be easily curtailed especially when the offender is more than familiar with the internet. That is why prevention is the key: it is important then for parents to know more about the social networking activity of their children.
Problems that surround social networking exist and could destroy the life of the user if no precautions are taken. For that reason, users have to make sure that they protect their data all the time and be careful in interacting with different users.