“Beware the Cyberwock, my son!
The messages that bite, the viruses that catch!
Beware the social sites, and shun
The frumious mystery chat!”

We would be remised during Cybersecurity Awareness month is we did not discuss Social sites like Facebook, MySpace, Google Plus and others. While these sites offer a great way to share your life with friends, family and acquaintances, these sites also have potential dangers to unaware users. While 90% of the users on these sites use the sites for what they were intended for, they do have users who have other purposes. There is the potential for malicious software and online scams which can be highly destructive. At the very least they can be annoying, but all to often that can result in a loss of your valuable data or even identity theft. These issues can be expensive and very time-consuming to deal with.

Social sites as with everything else on the internet, require you to be vigilant and wise about what you do, and how you interact.

The frumious mystery chat
You may have heard the horror stories about children, teens and even some adults who turned up missing, molested or murdered as a result of an online contact. Typically, these predator gets onto a social site, engages a victim in a cyberspace conversation, maybe even swap webcam images and eventually “lures” – that us the nature of the crime -the victim to a face-to-face meeting. What can happen next is a gambit of innocent fun, to rape or molestation, to sexual assault, to abduction and murder.

Anyone can be victimized during a chat. While many of the targets are young children and teens, they can also be college students and adults. As an exercise to should parents how easy it was a copy pretended to be another child in a chat room and began an innocent chat, with a little girl. He asked about her school, asked if she played sports, and other questions about her life. He never asked for her address, but using the information was about to locate the child from the information, and then showed up at her house to show her parents, and provide a lesson of just how just posting information about herself made I easy to people to locate her.

The rule here is to be exceedingly cautious of making “real-life” contact with people you meet on-line. If you decide you want to ‘hook-up’ or meet agree on a safe PUBLIC place, and do not go to the meeting alone. Take a friend or two along, and of course having some pepper spray would not hurt either.

Beware the Cyberwock
As I mentioned earlier, scams, abduction, sexual assault, rape, murder, and other forms of physical harm are, of course, the most extreme consequences of careless use of social websites. More frequently, the damage is a loss of privacy, which can result in annoying commercial exploitation, lots of spam e-mail, or costly and destructive criminal identity theft.

There was a recent story of an adult woman who thought she was chatting with her sister on Facebook, and her sister started talking about this great investment and how she made all this money from her investments. The criminal was able to get the victim to go to a link and ‘invest’ $2000. It was a scam.

You can avoid most of the dangers posed on these sites – yet still use and enjoy them – by remaining as anonymous as possible. Don’t volunteer any detailed information. You can post your birth day, and month, but not the year. If you are going to post a profile picture, use one that is a younger version of you. Keep personal and financial information to yourself. Be careful of what you post. There have been stories of people who have had their home robbed because they posted on one of the social sites that they were going on a vacation. They should have just put a sign on their front door.

Author's Bio: 

Victor Swindell is the owner of Onyx Knight Enterprises, the home of PepperEyes.com PepperEyes.com is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable personal protection products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime. If you want to take personal responsibility for yourself, your home or your business, purchase our high quality discount personal protection products and arm yourself with the knowledge of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.