Social Networking: The Death of Privacy?

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Social networks have become an increasingly popular way for people to communicate over the last decade. Whether it is through a wall post, a picture, a video, or a link, users are able to share stories and details about their lives through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube. Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student who hacked the university’s network to obtain photos and information about other students on campus, created Facebook in 2004. Today, Facebook has more than one billion weekly active users. According to information found on Facebook’s website, “[M]illions of people use Facebook every day to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.” However, if the man behind all of this was a hacker himself, what might this say about the security of the website itself? Just how safe is this site and others? The truth of the matter is social networking sites are only as safe as a user makes them. Unfortunately, many of the free privacy settings available for users on the internet are not the default. To protect themselves, users must be sure to censor what they post online and activate the appropriate privacy settings to secure their information. Individuals who share their personal information online must realize that anything they post has the potential to be viewed by millions of people online, not just their friends. As authors Dianne Timm and Carolyn Duven suggest,“[W]hen an individual shares information on a social networking site, he or she is sharing that information with the rest of the world even if the intent was to share with only a select group of people” (Timm and Duven 90). The reality o... ... middle of paper ... ...Premier. Web. 25 Apr. 2015. Marsico Jr., Edward M. "Social Networking Websites: Are Myspace And Facebook The Fingerprints Of The Twenty-First Century?" Widener Law Journal 19.3 (2010): 967-976. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 Mar. 2015. Miller, Robert, Kristine Parsons, and David Lifer. "Students And Social Networking Sites: The Posting Paradox." Behaviour & Information Technology 29.4 (2010): 377-382. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Apr. 2015. Teclehaimanot, Berhane, and Torey Hickman. "Student-Teacher Interaction On Facebook: What Students Find Appropriate." Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning 55.3 (2011): 19-30.Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Apr. 2015 Timm, Dianne M., and Carolyn J. Duven. "Privacy And Social Networking Sites." New Directions For Student Services 124 (2008): 89-101. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Feb. 2015.
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