Social Networking Safety Tips

First, let's start by stating the obvious. Social networking is a great way to find new friends who share the same interests as you do. In fact, making friends is the reason social networking exists and why it is exploding in popularity.

It's great to find people who love talking about the same things that you love talking about. It's why specialized bulletin board services were so popular in the early 1980s, when interaction was limited to just posting messages to be read and hopefully responded to. Now, with online chat capabilities, that communication can be instantaneous and continuous, instead short, terse and intermittant.

Social networking sites allow you to meet people from all over the world, not just in your neighborhood or city. That's one of the neat things about chatting on social networking sites. You can hold text conversations with people across the continent, across the ocean or halfway around the world. You can't do that with any other form of communication. And it's almost impossible to meet people from so many different places and countries if you don't make use of the social networking phenomenom.

What's really great is that there are over a hundred different social networking sites out there. And that number is increasing almost every week. The largest of the sites have millions of members, while even the smallest of the social networking sites has memberships in the hundreds or more. With so many sites and so many members, you're bound to find people just like you that you want to meet online and to chat with.

Many people on social networking sites host events in their home cities, or even at vacation resorts like Disney World or on cruise ships. It's a great way to have a vacation and meet like-minded people and have fun. If you end up wanting to host/organize an event, you can post notices of these events on the social networking pages.

Some businesses are now using social networking sites to promote their business and their products and services. It's a great way to look for new clients, and to let potential clients that "you're out there" and available to meet their needs. You can even discover new trends and new needs that you can move your business into, and you'll have that awareness of these new trends and needs well before your competitors do.

Many social networking sites are free. This provides excellent value since you're not paying anything for the opportunity to meet hundreds of people who share your same interests. While many are free, there are some sites that charge a fee. One would think that the sites with a fee would provide extra services and benefits. You need to learn what these sites are like, and if they are worth any fees that you must pay

If you sign up with a social networking site, you need to take precautions. For example, never post private information about yourself. While most sites enable you to restrict access to your profile to only certain people, you may find that criminals can get around any restrictions and use the private information that you post against you. Careless posting of private information can and does lead to identity theft and financial loss. Also, make sure that you don't post anything that might end up causing you embarrassment or humiliation. Also, if you meet people for the first time through a social networking site, you need to be careful -- meet in a public place, let people know where you will be going, who you will be meeting and when you expect to get back.

Social networking is probably here to stay. It's still growing in size, and in popularity. It's a great way to make new friends all over the world. How great is that!

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