10 Reasons to be Careful
1) Privacy: "Good Privacy" is not really a term associated with social networking, especially with a giant like Facebook that is considered to be the backbone of social networking. Be careful about what you post as a status update or on another person's wall. Double check your privacy settings to see what information is available. Applications and other users can take advantage of you if you are not cautious enough.
2) Addictive: With tons of applications available out there, Facebook is one of the most addictive sites on the Internet. People get hooked on applications and games like Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc. Many schools report that the average grade of students has gone down and the main cause is social networking sites. People may end up losing jobs if they are caught socializing during work hours, when instead they should have been working.
3) Unwanted Information: You would like to keep your Facebook use to a minimum but your friends are constantly sending you requests to join them in social games, or sharing information that is really better kept a secret. There are options to hide or block applications or users, but new applications are always popping up to take their place.
4) Impact on Career Life and Personal Life: People add their colleagues, family and friends to their friends' list. Make a negative comment about anyone, and it is extremely easy to find. This can be especially detrimental at your workplace. Don't think about telling friends you're looking for a new job or complaining about your boss when you have them as a Facebook friend! Depending on your job, you may also be in trouble if a friend posts pictures of you with a drink in your hand or at a party. If you work with young children or in certain professional roles, this could be grounds enough to get you fired.
5) Facebook Places: The last straw of your privacy. Facebook places lets your friends know where you are and what you are doing. What's more, you will be spammed by others' updates too, on their whereabouts which can be very disturbing. So if you want to have your coffee in peace, make sure that your Facebook privacy settings are as per your requirements.
6) Scams: With so much of your private information available in your Facebook account, it's easy for scam artists and hackers to use this information to target your other accounts—such as, email, banking, and PayPal.
7) Virus Attacks: No matter how secure a website is, hackers always find a way around so they can try to spread worms and viruses via the website. Since news spreads very fast on Facebook, a click on an unknown link is all that is needed to spread the virus to your friends, their friends and so on. It is always good to be careful before clicking links and following them.
8) Trouble Deleting Your Facebook Account: Until 2007 Facebook never completely deleted a user's information even when they deleted their account. It was more like suspending an account, which meant, one can get their account and all the information back anytime if they decided to join Facebook again. In 2008, Facebook introduced an option to permanently delete the account. Even today, one has to be sure not to just deactivate their account but also check other preferences to make sure that your account is completely deleted.
9) Monopoly: Facebook is the center of all business advertisements, thanks to its huge fan base. This is affecting many other small companies and startups that have no other choice but to link themselves to Facebook to market their products. Even startups force themselves to join Facebook to promote their products.
10) Health Concerns: In the year of 2009, Facebook was the most visited site on the Internet. People spend a lot of time interacting with others and checking on what other people are doing, and you can forget to take care of yourself. Prolonged time online can lead to various health issues like headaches, back aches, eye strain and a long list of other maladies.
Protect yourself by using proper privacy settings, and don't use the same Facebook password that you use for other online accounts. There are real gifts, real games, and real people out there. Interact with them in real life and use Facebook as a tool to keep in touch with people, but not the only means of doing so.
If you are keen on protecting your identity on Facebook, here are a few Facebook safety tips that will help you.