Social Networking in College: Guidelines
These dangers may make social networking sites seem like frightening places. Not so; they are perfectly safe, so long as one follows some simple rules. These guidelines for using social networking sites in college are very much common sense rules.
First, never post publicly post an incriminating photo. This is particularly true for pictures showing illegal activities like underage drinking or property destruction. Though you may want to show off all the fun you had last weekend, in the end it isn't worth the possibility of being kicked out of school or receiving a summons from the police.
Use the same degree of caution for written posts. If you assume that any post you write will be read by whoever you wouldn't want to read it, you won't go wrong. Just remember that Facebook and MySpace are public websites, visible to all your friends, enemies, and future employers. One popular guideline has always been that students shouldn't post anything thing they wouldn't want their parents to read; now that many adults are using Facebook, your parents might literally be reading every status update.
Many of the hazards of social networking sites can be avoided by correctly using privacy settings. Most social networking sties allow users to set their own privacy settings, like who can see a profile and how much they can see. Students should only allow their friends to view their profiles; this should prevent many of the aforementioned problems.