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Facebook has now become the part of everyday activity to most of the people and most people using Facebook are mainly student. Facebook has become break for people like coffee and lunch break and Facebook users check their status every hour. Facebook has been major contributor to the changes in the way we communicate. 2 Major components of Facebook are news feed and timeline. Timeline consists of photos, stories and experiences that shows user's story in chronological order.
The main activities of Facebook are as follows:
Create special interest group
Organize special events
To become fans
Search for old friend
To share your life
Facebook being a social networking tool it is also powerful communication tool. People can communicate with each other on Facebook like on telephone, email and Skype as Facebook has introduced new video calling system and messenger. People can leave message, chat, comment on photos, feeds and videos, create an event and convey information on Facebook. It helps to contact any person who is registered on Facebook anywhere at any time and it is totally free to use. Facebook is also very important for giving news and information to people due to its popularity and extreme use. For e.g. if any incidents like earthquake or accident happens then people will know about it from status updates. Business and organization lunch their products on Facebook before launching on market which helps the public to know about the product before buying it. Likewise education centers, schools and colleges creates educational page on Facebook which helps student to gain extra knowledge and join the educational group. Political parties and their officials raise their ideas and views on Facebook which helps for the popularity of that party and public to choose the right leader. Facebook also helps to send message to public about different factors like political status, news, blog and mostly everything that is happening in in the world is updates in Facebook every seconds. It also saves time as anyone can subscribe any article, link or pages which gives news, articles and many more so no one has to search the web for finding content.
Although Facebook is very popular among billions of people it cannot be declared as hundred percent safe. Facebook is a tool which works on web and Facebook being a social web it has possibility of cybercrime. Due to having rapid number of teenagers in Facebook it has some risks involved which are as follows:
Young people behaving aggressively are more likely to be victimized online
Young people can face hurtful and harassing behavior online
Harassment or online bullying
Posting information that could be used to
Embarrass or manipulate
Could cause psychological harm
Could be used by criminals to steal their identity, property or determine their Physical location to cause physical harm
Damage to reputation because of peoples own behavior like angry post, compromising photos/videos, group conflict depicted in text and imagery
Exposure to inappropriate content
Potential for inappropriate contact with people
As Facebook being social networking tool and is used over internet there are various threats to Facebook. There are many hackers and crackers around us and their group called cyber gangs who are anonymously destroying websites and its content so it can be threat to Facebook. Phishing attack is commonly used method to gain access to targeted Facebook account, it is an email message with the link and looks like Facebook login page but in reality it is the page which copies targeted Facebook account username and password. Phishers can send junk messages, span and malicious tools using targeted Facebook account. Like Phishers malicious programs are developed to spread from junk mails and messages which when activated spreads malicious program. Click jacking may look like Facebook post with a link to exciting content which enable sites that spreads malware on Facebook user's device or posts bad link on Facebook profile. Facebook has many applications and games to play but there are many fake applications and programs that do things not supported by Facebook, for e.g. Facebook apps which shows name of person who viewed your profile. Money transfer scams has also been popular on Facebook which sends a message from ones Facebook account and conveys messages to the friends of that account to send money immediately on the given address.
Facebook is a public element and since everyone has access to Facebook it should have some limitations. Facebook contains real name, address and other personal information of the user which makes Facebook unsafe of identity theft. People are less likely to be vulnerable when their identity are publicly viewed so limiting the information displayed in Facebook helps to be safe from social networking threats. Other Preventive measures for social threats are
Controlling who can see the Facebook post
Controlling what other posts
Controlling who sees the timeline
Viewing how timeline looks like to others
Limiting who can send a message
Limiting who can see friend lists
Due to the threats related issues of Facebook teens should be specially guarded. Parents should limit the use of Facebook of their children who are under 18 years of age. Facebook has safety and privacy setting for users under 18 of age which can provide extra protection for teens which includes search, location sharing, tagging, friend request, messages, subscription and chat. Parents can also use the tool like activity monitor on their computer so they can track any moment of their kids on internet and makes them less vulnerable to cyber related abuse.
Finally it is concluded that Facebook is the largest social network and communication tool which provides multiple services and characteristics. Facebook has now become the part of our daily life and people are addicted on Facebook like drugs. Facebook helps to reflect spirit and imagination and can be a great learning tool and an inspiration. Besides the pros and cons of Facebook it is clear that every individuals are different and have different thoughts and the impact of Facebook will be negative or positive depends on the way they how they use it and interact with it.