Dangers of Social Media: Stalking, Oversharing, And More
The invention of social media platforms has changed our lifestyles. Have you ever snapped a photo of your food for Instagram before eating? We cannot spend a day peacefully without posting something on our social media accounts. Even if we do not post, we constantly check our favorite platforms for the latest spilled tea. So, social media has become a friend and an enemy for most of us.
56.8 percent of the total population are active users of social media today. You may also be one of them and might find social media entertaining. But you might not be aware of the fact that social media is dangerous too. It poses mental and physical threats to all of us if used unethically.
Read this article to gather more information about the various dangers of social media prevalent today.
What is Social Media?
The term social media is used for websites that enable users to share their thoughts and ideas with others. You can create your social media account on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Social media also includes other websites like blogging platforms, video sharing apps, picture sharing platforms, and online magazines. All these platforms help you connect with your friends and family members to share your thoughts and ideas.
More than 3 billion people are active users of social media today. However, this is not a great thing at all. The dark side of social media has turned out to be more dangerous than we can imagine.
Types of Dangers of Social Media
Social media opens an opportunity for cyberbullies. They can bully a person by posting negative and abusive comments on social media accounts. If they don’t get a desired response from the victims, they can also post embarrassing photos of the victim on the internet to make them feel miserable. Overall, cyberbullying is a major issue, one that older generations never had to deal with. Now, people can post mean comments without revealing their identities.
Cyberstalking is another significant danger of social media. A perpetrator can stalk a person through the internet by following online activities and collecting information about someone without disclosing their identity. We all have checked our friends’ social media platforms, but it can get spooky if people become obsessed with certain individuals.
Cyberterrorism is a term referring to terrorism taking place online. For instance, certain groups can intimidate others or hack into systems. Another crucial issue is the online recruitment process that exists on social media. A terrorist organization can dedicate people to urge others to join or support illegal activities.
Oversharing means that users reveal too much about themselves online. It can cause a significant problem if someone gets your data and uses it against you. Oversharing allows cybercriminals to use this information in favor of them.
People often post about their activities like going on vacations, locations of places they visit, locations of their offices, etc. These pieces of information act as starters for the criminals to plan a burglary or illegal act against you.
Phishing is a technique that collects information about people to access their accounts or steal money. Social media hackers use this technique to steal information from the victim’s social platform account by impersonating the official website representative.
Spying through social media is also possible. Cybercriminals can easily spy on your online activities by accessing your personal information. They can also hack into your social media account and read your messages, chats, and posts without your knowledge.
Furthermore, unsafe networks could allow attackers to intercept your connection and steal the data you exchange. For instance, it might happen on public Wi-Fi, as these networks lack encryption. You can ensure that your data travels safely online by installing a VPN. This app encrypts your internet traffic and stops snoopers from listening in on your conversations.
Adverse effects on health
We all know that the internet is one of the most addictive mediums. It can cause adverse impacts on your mental health if you are addicted to it. Many studies indicate the terrible effects of excessive social media use on mental health. Apart from this, spending too much time on social media causes stress, depression, anxiety, etc.
How to Avert These Dangers?
Well, there is no perfect method that can help to eradicate the dangers. But, if you follow these steps, you can surely decrease the chances of it happening to you.
- Safe use of social media. Never reveal your personal information on the internet, especially your address and contact number. Remember that people can misuse your data even if they are not authorized by a company or website you’re using.
- Keep your passwords safe. Sharing your username and password with anyone can be dangerous for you. If someone hacks your password, they will access your social media account and activate other accounts linked with your username and password. Always keep your passwords secure.
- Limit your social media use. There are programs designed to help you limit time spent on social media platforms. It works like a time management tool to help you spend your free time productively rather than getting addicted to social media.