Today’s advances in technology give us the opportunity to stay connected twenty-four hours a day, to do business even during sleeping hours, to meet friends or find new ones and even get married. To buy or to sell is always better and easier than before. Furthermore, exchanging private information with anybody and developing an online project is possible to free of charge. Fortunately, this available modern technology improves all possibilities in communications among people worldwide.
It is amazing how much creativity, power and independence can be achieved by people today who manage tools like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and many other social networks.
In fact, Social Media can also be used as a strong internal and external communication tool for businesses. Twitter, for example, confirms the basic communication concept. The sender has to not only be clear and concise in their postings but also be conscious of the audience and aware of the potential repercussions from information shared, otherwise s/he would not be able to communicate safely their intentions.
We see and hear about the potential pitfalls of misusing these social networks regularly in the news. They can, in fact, be used to threaten people, by simulating kidnappings and aiding and abetting other criminal activities, due to the ridiculously easy availability of unprotected personal details on these accounts. In general, people don’t realize how high their exposure is when they write. For example in Facebook, by posting about places they have visited, where they are at that precise moment or by uploading unprotected pictures of their own children. Even stating what they have recently purchased or future plans can be dangerous.
Everyone needs to be responsible for their own privacy and security. It is not possible to know who the audience is and how they intend to use this information. Unfortunately, the risk is bigger in countries with different social hierarchy and high criminality statistics. In particular, the parents of vulnerable children and teenagers should protect them from this high-risk exposure with parental control software, instead of allowing inappropriate posts of their images on Youtube and Facebook, leaving them unprotected and vulnerable to these risks. As a result, it is normal to see cloned profiles and it is also sadly used for pornographic purposes.
If people don’t start to look after their own private information, it won’t be possible to avoid threats such as kidnapping in exchange for ransom money. An unknown could call anybody and say someone from their family had been kidnapped. The criminal has all the particular life details about the potentially kidnapped person and convinces the person on the telephone receiver that they need to bring a lot of money, somewhere of their choosing in order to save/rescue the family member. How do they get this information? How do they know so many private things? It is not difficult to answer. But it is better and easier, in the long run, to think before uploading the next post on a social networking site.
Having talked about this subject affecting a personal life it should also be mentioned for instance from the corporate point of view. The companies also use social networking for their business. Writing in the name of the Company is, of course, a huge responsibility for employees and it is mostly controlled. Despite talking about themselves, the employee is in fact still using the corporate identity, they are therefore indirectly talking about the company. Mistakes, wrong or confidential information have cost some jobs already.
In order to prepare their employees, companies are training them on their social media skills, even though they don’t work directly and daily with these tools. Having given information about budget or investments without authorization, people were fired with no right to apologize themselves.
Public and private information are important aspects to reflect and work on.