Perils of Online Social Media – – Great Article

This is such a great article on the perils of social online media I wanted to take a moment and provide it for those who may be reading this blog.  Remember your past and present can come back to haunt you!

Sorry, this post is a bit long.

Thank you Donna for providing this information:

Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, Experts in how business gets done on the Internet. http://www.kcwebspecialists.com 913.908.5642

Here’s the Article…..

9 Hidden Dangers of Social Networking

How Facebook & Twitter Can Be Hazardous to Your Wealth

By Ken and Daria Dolan, Dolans.com

posted: 1 DAY 19 HOURS AGO  (10-23-09)

When President Obama was asked by a student what advice he had for kids who wanted to grow up to be President, he warned them to be careful what you post on Facebook. That’s good advice even if you don’t want to be President.

 As the popularity of social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to name some biggies) continues to explode, stories about the dark side of social networking are piling up.

 Personal finance experts Ken and Daria Dolan of Dolans.com warn you about nine ways using social media can be hazardous to your wealth.

 Lawyers Love Facebook

Are you about to be involved in a messy divorce or taken to court? You may want clean up your Facebook page.

 Lawyers and private investigators routinely troll social media sites as part of their research for any case. Such sites are a treasure trove of evidence, especially when they are looking to:

 Prove adultery. Perhaps the woman you suspect of being your husbands’ mistress tweets about the fancy new jewelry she got, or about an expensive vacation she just took.

 Hunt down alimony. An ex-husband says he can’t afford alimony but tweets about his new job or raise or his brand new car.

 Collect evidence for a custody case. A women fighting for full custody of her children claims she doesn’t drink or smoke, yet posts a picture of her smoking at a bar on her Facebook page.

 Prove harassment or fraud. Copies of nasty or threatening messages left on an ex-boyfriend’s Facebook page make great evidence.

 Your Resume Isn’t the Only Thing Employers Scrutinize

More From the Dolans:

A recent study by Harris Interactive found that 45% of the employers they questioned are using social networks to check out job candidates before hiring them. That’s a pretty significant percentage. But here’s an even more surprising number: 35% of those employers decided not to offer a candidate a job because of what they found on an applicant’s social networking page.

 Bad-mouthing your last boss online? Posting questionable pictures? If you are on the job hunt, be sure to review your pages and profiles and make sure there isn’t anything there that can cost you a job.

 Burglars Are Fond of Your Constant Updates

Would you stand up in the middle of a crowd of strangers and announce that you’re leaving on vacation for three days and then tell everyone your address? Of course not, but that’s exactly what you are doing if you share such information online.

 Burglars are now using Twitter to find victims. One Arizona man tweeted to 2,000 followers that he was heading out of town and came home to find someone had broken in and stolen thousands of dollars worth of video equipment he used for his business.

 Even saying you are running to the mall, going out to dinner, etc. is too much information.

 Prepare for Bigger Insurance Premiums

A leading insurer in England warns that social media users could face higher insurance premiums because of the added risk they face from burglary.

 Legal & General insurance believes that burglars use social media sites to “shop” for victims. Posting photos of your home enables burglars to know whether you have any security features or what you own that’s worth stealing. Plus, your posts reveal other details, such as whether or not you have a dog to fend off intruders or if you constantly let people know when you’re out of town, that can affect the chances of you filing a claim.

 Teenagers are especially likely to reveal personal information, leading the insurer to warn parents that they could face higher homeowner’s insurance premiums if their children are online.

 Tweets Can Get You Fired

A waiter in Beverly Hills was fired recently for one of his Twitter updates (called Tweets). In his tweets, he complained about actress, Jane Adams, who he says skipped out on her bill and didn’t leave him a tip. He said her agent later paid her bill.

 The waiter was fired two weeks later.

 That may seem like an extreme case, but people have been fired for blogging about work, blogging while at work, even for calling in sick and then posting on Facebook. One woman was fired for badmouthing the boss on Facebook because she forgot she had “friended” her boss and he could see everything she was saying. Oops.

If you are using any social network, assume your boss is watching everything you say and do!

 Social Networkers Are an Identity Thief’s Dream

Social networking is a dream come true for identity thieves — millions of people sharing endless amounts of personal information right out in the open. According to PC World, 33% of social network users have at least three pieces of information posted that could lead to identity theft.

 Think about the types of things people share on social media sites…their birthday, address, kid’s names, pet’s names, mother’s maiden name, previous address, where you went to school. Besides being used to steal your identity, this information can also give thieves the answers to some of the most common security or password questions used on your personal accounts.

 Yes, social networking is about sharing, but that doesn’t mean you can blindly violate basic rules that help protect you from ID theft.

 Let’s Go Phishing on Twitter

Just last week, Twitter users were the target of a huge phishing scam. Scammers sent direct messages (DMs) or Tweets that included a generic message such as “You’re on this video” or “I think I see you here” in order to get people to click on a link.

The link took those who clicked on it to a fake Twitter page that asked them to log in with their username and password …which the scammer then used to hijack the victim’s account.

 Twitter Can Be Infectious

Fake Twitter profiles have been used to spread malicious software (known as malware).

 To lure in victims, scammers use fake celebrity profiles or news about celebrities. The posts look legit, but infect your computer with malware that lets the scammer use your computer to send spam, install spyware, steal your identity or launch attacks on other computers.

The IRS Wants to “Friend” You

As state budget get increasingly pinched, internal revenue agents are getting more aggressive in their pursuit of tax revenue. In fact, some states are even using information posted on sites like Facebook and MySpace to track down tax dodgers and dig for unreported income.

 In Minnesota, tax agents reportedly levied back taxes on a long-time tax evader after he announced on his MySpace page that he was moving back into the state and would be working as a real estate broker.

 While the IRS refuses to say whether or not they are using social media to find tax evaders, it’s best to assume that they’re watching everything you post.

 Makes you want to be a little more careful the next time a stranger asks to “friend” you, doesn’t it?

 In Conclusion

You don’t need to quit Twitter or Facebook now that you know about the dark side of social media. But we do hope that you think about how your tweets and posts could come back to hurt you. We had our identity stolen last year, and it’s no fun. Use some good old common sense and follow our simple rules for protecting yourself on social media sites to keep trouble at bay.

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