Are Social Networking sites a Friend or a Foe?

Posted by on Aug 19th, 2009 and filed under Campus Updates, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

social_networking_sites

Almost every soul in the planet today is an affiliate of a social networking site. In the Philippines alone sites such as Facebook, Friendster, Hi5 and Multiply are topping the list of popular social hangouts not only by students but professional individuals as well. The founder behind these sites of course became extremely rich, take a look at Mark Zuckerberg , CEO and one of the founders of Facebook, who at age 25 is already a billionaire.

We cannot deny the enthusiasm and fondness on using social network sites because naturally we are “social individuals”. No Man is an Island, as they say, is true and the growing popularity of these social websites is the evidence.

But, the real question is: Do these Social Network Sites help us all the way? We have to dig deeper and scrutinize available facts to prove if these popular sites are really an ally or an enemy.


In what way does it help you?

1. Get in touch with friends and family

Aside from having your mobile phones as a tool of communicating with friends and loved ones, social sites provides an easy and convenient way for people to stay intact. Old friends, new friends, relatives abroad, parents in another country, these are few of several connections one could reach via social networking sites. Bridging the gap is just a click away.

family get-in-touch friends


2. Advertisements

Most business establishments are looking at social networking sites to promote their new products or services. “Popularity” is the keyword these businesses are looking to spread the buzz about their products.

image468 preferred_online_advertising_vendors pubmatic_ad_prices


3. Blog promotion

Facebook has a feature which a blogger can use so that his readers can automatically know any update(s) on his website. This is a convenient way to promote your site among your friends and have your website known and discovered. Convenient links are also available and could be added on your website to automatically share any articles on your blogs.

pinoy tutorial promotion Website Optimization


4. Detention of criminals

Some of the suspects responsible for killing a teenager in Quezon City, Philippines were arrested after their pictures were seen on Friendster, a popular social networking site for pinoys. Read more about this story on inquirer.net

This proves that even criminals couldn’t resist to “socialize”. Wow! they even posted their pictures without thinking about their infamous deed.

ronald-mcdonald-is-arrested-in


Some unpleasant allegations about social networking sites

1. Privacy

Facebook is getting sued by 5 individuals because of privacy issues on their facebook profiles. One of them accuses Facebook of not delivering its promises of giving users strict control of data uploaded on their profiles.

Facebook dismissed these allegations claiming that users have complete freedom who to share their profiles as well as their photo viewers. (Inquirer)

facebook-privacy


2. Malicious attacks

You probably heard news on Facebook and Friendster profiles being used as a “bot” to spread virus and invade other users’ PC and make them part of a botnet. These attacks are used by hackers to exploit the victim’s PC to steal valuable credit card or bank account information.

koobface botnet


3. Vulnerable to hackers

Facebook and the popular micro blogging site twitter were reported as a victim of simultaneous DOS (Denial of service) attack from hackers (see details). Twitter was temporarily shutdown for several hours on two separate occasions ( a week apart). If you use these sites as part of your business then you could be in trouble once these “unwelcomed” bastards sabotage these websites.

twitter-dead hack


Wrap up

Friend or Foe? No one could really attest which end weighs more. On one hand you benefit from its services while on the other you should take precautions on how to hedge its bad effects. In our opinion, these unpleasant news about social networking sites could be prevented. Settings on your profiles could be set to screen-out other people from viewing your profile. Perhaps, you could change to another social site if you’re not satisfied with its current security right?

You can also hedge against malicious attacks and viruses by doing some precautionary measures. You could also diversified or subscribe to other network sites for your product and service advertisements. This will avoid untimely shutdowns in the future.

Social networking sites will probably stay as part of our cyber lives for a long time. Also, make sure to take time and educate yourselves about the current technology trends so that you won’t be left behind.

All social networking sites are always subjected to a “damn if you do, damn if you don’t situation“. Therefore, it’s your responsibility as a user to choose wisely base on the advantages you will attain from joining.

Happy social networking!

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4 Responses for “Are Social Networking sites a Friend or a Foe?”

  1. Rss reader says:

    Mr. PT, what social networking site would you prefer?

  2. [...] of the key points on security issues. He explained how Facebook grew from a simple school community social media to a huge multi-cultural regional networks which even landed Asian countries like China and [...]

  3. Elton Boen says:

    That’s an great post, I really think that social networkingnetworking type of sites are going to be taking a huge progression in 2010. I really think that we are only in the introduction stages of social networking and we can see that with applications like Gowalla, it’s only a matter of time until all things are communicating together at an even higher level. I’m can’t wait and am excited for this year, it’s gonna be a big year in social networking. I’m wondering what you think?

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