Safe Social Networking
| by Jamshed Avari
If one day you met a long-lost school friend while out shopping, for example, you might spend a few minutes catching up on each others’ lives, exchanging news about common friends, sharing a few laughs and recalling good times. You might exchange phone numbers or even joyously arrange a get-together at a future date. But you probably wouldn’t automatically start rattling off every detail of every place you’ve been and every new friend you’ve made in the last decade. Imagine now that instead of walking up to that friend you found his Facebook profile just by chance and sent him a message and invitation. You’ve most probably just handed him not only an entire summary of the activities of your life, but also access to your photos and videos, personal thoughts, group memberships, and list of other friends—and all this despite not knowing the first thing about what he’s been up to and who his friends are.
A few days after he adds you, you see you have friend requests from a dozen other former classmates, none of whom you were particularly good friends with or would ever consider contacting yourself. They say your name pop up in their news feeds, since your old friend was on their lists. Now all of these semi-random acquaintances know you have an active Facebook profile, and you feel awkward about ignoring them… so you just click ‘Accept’.
Twitter has only one basic control—the "Protect my tweets" option which hides your posts from everyone who isn't authorized
One the other hand, information about you can be seen by strangers, your updates can make information about your movement visible to undesirable people, and you expose yourself to a huge amount of liability even with friends, family and coworkers.
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