The volume of personal information acquired by Facebook opens users up to a multitude of risks including identity theft. The risk is not so much posed by the Facebook empire itself, but by other users who attempt to befriend individuals with the purpose of hacking into other personal accounts, including online banking and email accounts.
Many facebook users think that by giving a false birthdate in profile information adds an element of safety but this isn’t actually correct. Typically, what these hackers do is, once they have gained access to your profile page, they monitor posts and other information with the goal of finding out the password to your email account.
If you have supplied your email address, all they need to do is work out different combinations of names and numbers to discover your password. People tend to use children’s or pet’s names as passwords. Then once they are in, they can search the emails in your inbox for banking information and passwords to other private accounts.
Facebook users were most vulnerable when they accepted friend requests from people they do not know personally,such as an attractve girl. Many of us have fallen into this trap to boost our “friend numbers” and to appear popular. There is definitely peer pressure to have a lot of Facebook friends, and this is often part of the strategy for business owners who use Facebook for marketing purposes.
An especially great risk is to children with Facebook accounts, simply because of information they give on their pages without being aware of what happens to it, or who is looking at it. Children tend to be especially naïve and trusting, because they feel protected by the screen in front of them. This is unfortunately not the case, and it is a known fact that there are predators who target children and teens on Facebook.
A major flaw with Facebook in its current format is the lack of a function that enables a child to have a profile page attached to the page of a parent. This function would enable parents to have access to their child’s page and be able to monitor what they put on there, as well as limiting settings to protect their child.