CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN BY DEBARATI HALDER
Couple of day’s back I came through a research which showed that women are more attracted to social networking through popular social media like the Facebook or Twitter than men (See http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/women-more-attracted-facebook-twitter-men-study-105041750.html). Being a woman myself, I cannot wholeheartedly agree with this research as I have seen many men *also* have taken likings for social networking too. But this research made it once again crystal clear: women are vulnerable in the net. In this era of social media, women do not click in the Facebook or Twitter just as a leisure activity only. I see these Medias as mines of informations; and I am sure many women like me visit these ‘mines’ for gathering useful informations, which are essential for home maintenance, baby care to safe e-banking, online shopping, part time or full time jobs from home etc. Where do we find these mines? Anywhere and everywhere if you have your 6th sense ready for gaining the informations. I look specifically for the ‘groups’ and ‘trending topics’ for gathering informations, which in very sophisticated term, can also be called as ‘data mining’.
But women of my genre, beware!
All is not safe when you switch on your Facebook account with your personal informations and albums open to your friends. In a ‘group,’ in the Facebook, there are numbers of privacy issues which may bother members, especially women members; let me detail them here:
1. If one member tags you or your photo, your well protected informations, status updates and even the entire album can be pulled out from your profile. Do not feel secured if you have made your informations available for your friends and not for the public. You may never know, but your friend’s friends can also view your ‘secrets’ meant only for your friends.
2. A group expands by snow balling its members through existing members. So if any one of the members mistakenly adds any unwanted individual, the security of the other members may be jeopardized.
3. You may get introduced to many likeminded members in a group, who may be interested in knowing you more closely. But be careful. Once an individual sends a friend’s request, he/she may be able to see the status updates and the new addings to the album if they are not ‘protected’; this is possible even when the ‘friend’s request’ is in the ‘pending’ status. Hence if you do not wish to share anything with him/her, immediately close your door to him/her.
4. Remember if this is not a closed group, your contributions to the group may be visible in the world wide web if someone searches for your name.
These are but some of my own findings from my own experiences in the Facebook. But women, don’t withdraw yourself. There are more ‘safety pins’ available for protecting the loop holes.
Ø Facebook offers few types of friend’s category, namely; acquaintances, friends and close friends. It falls upon you to categorize your ‘friends’ for a better networking.
Ø When it is an open group, be careful to choose your words for contribution.
Ø Be watchful; if you are tagged without your permission, ‘de-tag’ yourself .
Ø Take immediate decision regarding friend’s requests. Pending requests may add more privacy risks.
Ø If you are a member in a group which allows snow balling, be sure to add known and reliable friends. This is will make you a safety valve in your own group.
At the end, let your friends be aware of the positive side of social networking. Being a social species, no human beings are fallible. But remember, we are humans and a little bit of awareness would definitely make our lives in the well webbed world wonderful.
Please Note: Do not violate copyright of this blog. If you would like to use informations provided in this blog for your own assignment/writeup/project/blog/article, please cite it as “Halder D. (2012), “Women, be careful when you join groups in Facebook”, 6th September,2012, published in http://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/