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Social Networking Safety

 Don’t give up your privacy!  Social Networking Websites are online communities used by people who want to connect with other people, whether they want to share interests, are looking for friendships or romance, business connections, former classmates, old friends etc. In general, they provide a variety of ways for users to interact with each other, such as chat rooms, e-mail, blogs, instant messaging and they usually offer ‘self-description’ pages. Social Networking sites are increasingly more popular among Internet users and in particular among teenagers and young adults as well as around university communities. MySpace and Facebook are among the most widely used in the United States, but to view a more comprehensive list please go to the following website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites    A general concern about people using such sites is that they give out too much personal information, hereby compromising their safety and privacy. There is a threat of sexual predators, data theft or vulnerability to viruses that is unfortunately very real. Large services often work with law enforcement to try to prevent incidents however it is your responsibility to take the necessary precautions to avoid negative situations.    We encourage our UWG students to create a personal webpage in the space we provide for them on our university network, and sometimes students are even required to do so for a class. The same safety concerns apply here as well. Safe Internet practice equals not giving up your privacy.

Whatever social networking you’re involved with here are some tips to do it safely:

PARENTS BEWARE: many social networking sites have age restrictions however children may misrepresent themselves so that they can join one of these sites. For UWG parents who are interested in staying informed on how to keep their kids safe, the following link offers very good information: http://onguardonline.gov/socialnetworking.html