Social networking sites build upon the concept where you are connected to new people through people you already know. The purpose of some networking sites may be purely social, allowing users to establish friendships or romantic relationships, while others may focus on establishing business connections.

Although the features of social networking sites differ, all allow you to provide information about yourself and offer some type of communication mechanism that enables you to connect with other users. On some sites, you can browse for people based on certain criteria, while other sites require that you be “introduced” to new people through a connection you share. Many of the sites have communities or subgroups that may be based on a particular interest.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Limit the amount of personal information you post. Do not post information that would make you vulnerable, such as your address, or information about your schedule or routine.
  • Be wary of strangers. The Internet makes it easy for people to misrepresent their identities and motives. If you interact with people you do not know, be cautious about the amount of information you reveal or agreeing to meet them in person.
  • Use strong passwords. Protect your account with passwords that cannot easily be guessed. If your password is compromised, someone else may be able to access your account and pretend to be you.
  • Keep software, particularly your web browser, up to date. Install software updates so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should enable it.
  • Use and maintain anti-virus software. Anti-virus software helps protect your computer against known viruses, so you may be able to detect and remove the virus before it can do any damage.

Shell Point residents benefit from onsite, full-time technical support staff who can consult on computer issues through its “One Call Does It All” 24-hour Call Center. If you have questions about your computer, call your local computer expert or store for assistance.



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