Tuesday 4 April 2017

Dangerous Effects of Social Media Sites on Youth

There’s a saying, ‘Every coin has two sides.’

Just like all other inventions, social media sites also have positive and negative effects not only on adults but also on youths. New relationships are formed inside this virtual world, and old relationships break up daily. Today, even when we sit with our friends gossiping, our eyes are fixed on the pages of social media sites and our fingers keep on posting photos. Do you think the only harmful effect of the uprising of social media is making us unsocial? Sadly, its bad effects have extended beyond that.

Dangerous Effects of Social Media Sites on Youth

Generally, social media platforms have not-so-strict regulatory nature. Resultantly, fraudsters and cyber criminals get a -playground where they can play their tricks to make benefits out of you. As youths are more emotional than adults, they become the targets. Some of the dangerous effects of social networking on teens are:

1. Identity Theft: The stealing of personal information available online is known as Identity Theft. Most of the time, they hack your LinkedIn or Facebook account to access your information. Once information like your name, and bank details are gathered, they use it to steal money. To take out cash from a compromised bank account or to buy goods online, this information is used.

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft?

  • Stay safe even while using social media sites with the tricks shared below.
  • Be careful while posting anything on the social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • To prevent unauthorized payments, check your bank account statement on a regular basis.
  • Ensure that the software of additional data protection of your PC is protected it from screen capturing, phishing, and keylogging.
2. Phishing Schemes: The attempt to know your username,  password, and details of your credit card is known as Phishing. According to a report released by the 3rd Microsoft Computing Safer Index in 2014, the global impact of phishing annually has reached approximately $ 5 billion. Mostly, through instant messaging, the criminals carried out the process.

What Social Media Scams You Should Avoid?
Youths, while active on social media should avoid the following scams.

  • Fake Accounts of Customer Services: Cyber criminals create fake customer service accounts to know the bank details of the user. These kinds of accounts look real and hence, can easily trap the youths, especially those who are shopaholics. Scammers interfere with the conversation whenever someone tweets on their pages. Their replies may seem authentic to you. To steal your bank credentials, they will direct you to a fake support site.
  • Generates Numerous Fake Accounts: Any viral post, news, or story brings in hundreds of comments. Fraudsters derive advantages from these viewers by giving fake links while posting their comments.
  • Providing Free Social Games: A great majority of users on social media by playing free games with others. Though the games remain free initially, yet when you want to obtain the special power grades, the payment pop-up comes in. If you proceed with payment, all your bank details will be phished by the hacker.
3. Cyber Bullying: Many teens active on Facebook complained that they suffer from Cyber Bullying. If this kind of crime exceeds the limit, serious charges will be imposed upon the criminal. On Facebook, cyberbullying has caused the deaths of thousands of teens to date. These teens are bullied so badly that they are either compelled to commit suicide or are murdered by their peers.

What Should You Do if You Face Cyber Bullying?

To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of cyberbullying, you need to apply the tricks mentioned below.

  • Avoid Responding: Ignore retaliating to irritating or threat-like comments on Facebook or other social media sites. Never post any humiliating comments provoking others to take revenge for it.
  • Block the Offender: In your social media platform, block the disturbing user.
  • Report it: If the person from whom you’re facing the bully is accessible, report it to your teacher or parents. If he or she is threatening you using your personal information, talk or complain about it to the elders without delay.
  • Secure Your Profile: Keep the privacy settings of your social media profile high. Don’t include anybody in your list whom you don’t know personally. Hundreds of fake profiles are there. By accepting requests from such profiles, you’re actually putting yourself and your loved ones at risk.
Know that every activity you do online-- like tweets, re-tweets, commenting on social networking sites, and posting photos, are contributing to the virtual world. According to a survey conducted on 1000 Americans by Lawyers.com and LexisNexis, more than 50% of Americans divulge their personal life on social media sites. Most of them don’t know that this info can be used against them.

4. Defamation: The crime of defamation is committed when anyone posts a defamatory statement to a third party portraying the individual in a negative light.  Many businessmen are affected by these statements and go for taking legal action. Hence, you should be careful about what you say on these sites. Your comment may hurt someone’s sentiment badly even without your knowledge.

How to Avoid Defamation on Social Media?

  • Before posting or tweeting, read it twice. Are you going to post anything offensive? Can it
  • hurt anyone’s sentiments? If it’s targeting someone’s reputation, better you edit it.
  • Be clear in your message. You won’t like your comment to be misunderstood.
  • Cautiously write about private citizens. Considering the laws of the country is good for those who prefer to write about private citizens. Check your facts twice before you post anything.
When it comes to teens using social media sites, parents should educate themselves well to know both the advantages and disadvantages of joining such sites. Parents should learn to monitor the privacy settings of their youngsters’ profiles. They should check the profiles of their children regularly in such a way that no one can catch them. Discussing openly the etiquette and protocols related to the social network can go a long way in securing your teen’s future while letting them be active on social media sites.

In conclusion, while social media platforms offer numerous benefits such as connectivity and information sharing, they also pose significant risks, especially to youth. From identity theft and phishing schemes to cyberbullying and defamation, the dangers associated with social media are varied and often insidious. It's crucial for individuals, particularly young users, to exercise caution and adopt protective measures to safeguard themselves from potential harm.

Implementing strategies like being mindful of what information is shared online, staying vigilant against fraudulent schemes, and promptly addressing instances of cyberbullying can help mitigate the risks associated with social media use. Additionally, parents play a vital role in guiding and supervising their children's online activities, educating them about responsible usage and monitoring their interactions to ensure their safety and well-being.

By promoting awareness, fostering open communication, and advocating for safer online practices, individuals and families can navigate the complexities of social media more effectively, enjoying its benefits while minimizing its pitfalls. Ultimately, by understanding the dual nature of social media and taking proactive steps to mitigate its risks, users can foster a safer and more positive online environment for themselves and future generations.

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