The invention of social media platforms has changed our lifestyle. Have you ever snapped a photo of your food for Instagram before eating? We can’t spend a day in peace without posting something on our social media accounts. Even when we’re not posting, we’re constantly checking our favorite platforms for the latest spilled tea. So social media has become a friend and an enemy for most of us.
56.8 percent of the total population is now an active social media user. Maybe you are one of them too and you might like social media. But you may not be aware of the fact that social media is also dangerous. It poses a mental and physical threat to all of us if used unethically.
Read this article to learn more about the various dangers of social media that are common today.
What is social media?
The term social media is used for websites that allow users to share their thoughts and ideas with others. You can create your social media account on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Social media also includes other websites such as blogging platforms, video sharing apps, photo sharing platforms and online magazines. All these platforms help you connect with your friends and family members to share your thoughts and ideas.
More than 3 billion people are currently active social media users. However, this isn’t great at all. The dark side of social media has proven to be more dangerous than we can imagine.
Types of Dangers of Social Media
Social media offers opportunities for cyberbullying. They can bully a person by posting negative and abusive comments on social media accounts. If they don’t get a desired response from the victims, they can also post embarrassing pictures of the victim on the internet to make them feel miserable. Overall, cyberbullying is a big problem, one that older generations have never had to deal with. Now people can post mean comments without revealing their identities.
Cyberstalking is another major danger of social media. A perpetrator can stalk a person over the Internet by tracking online activity and gathering information about someone without revealing their identity. We’ve all checked our friends’ social media platforms, but it can get creepy when people become obsessed with certain individuals.
Cyber terrorism is a term that refers to terrorism that takes place online. For example, certain groups can intimidate others or hack into systems. Another crucial point is the online recruiting process that exists on social media. A terrorist organization may instruct people to encourage others to join or support illegal activities.
Sharing too much
Oversharing means that users reveal too much about themselves online. It can cause a big problem if someone gets your data and uses it against you. By sharing too much, cyber criminals can use this information to their advantage.
People often post about their activities such as going on vacation, locations of places they visit, locations of their offices, etc. These pieces of information serve as starters for the criminals to plan a burglary or illegal act against you.
Phishing is a technique that collects information about people in order to access their accounts or steal money. Social media hackers use this technique to steal information from the victim’s social platform account by impersonating the official website representative.
Spying via social media is also possible. Cyber criminals can easily spy on your online activities by accessing your personal information. They can also hack into your social media account and read your posts, chats and posts without your knowledge.
In addition, insecure networks allow attackers to intercept your connection and steal the data you exchange. For example, it can happen on public Wi-Fi as these networks have no encryption. You can ensure that your data travels securely online by installing a VPN. This app encrypts your internet traffic and ensures that snoops cannot listen in on your conversations.
Adverse health effects
We all know that the internet is one of the most addictive media. It can have adverse effects on your mental health if you are addicted to it. Many studies point to the dire effects of social media overuse on mental health. Apart from this, too much time on social media causes stress, depression, anxiety, etc.
How to avert these dangers?
Well, there is no perfect method that can help eradicate the dangers. But if you follow these steps, you can definitely reduce the chances of it happening to you.
- Safe use of social media. Never reveal your personal information on the internet, especially your address and contact number. Remember that people can misuse your data even if it is not authorized by a company or website you use.
- Keep your passwords safe. Sharing your username and password with anyone can be dangerous for you. If someone hacks into your password, they gain access to your social media account and activate other accounts associated with your username and password. Always keep your passwords safe.
- Limit your use of social media. There are programs designed to help you limit the time you spend on social media platforms. It works as a time management tool to help you spend your free time productively instead of getting addicted to social media.
Source: social media explorer