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Use the Tool Wisely

As public relations majors, experts or simply enthusiasts we create and keep relationships between the public and organizations. How do we frequently do this? You guessed it. Social media.

We often share content on websites, blogs (like this one), Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more! In doing this, we get into the habit of regularly sharing on our personal social networking cites, as well. Internet users have an average of 5 or 6 social media accounts.

This is your friendly ‘be careful’ article.

The Guardian reveals that social media-related crime reports are up 780% in the last four years due to the police’s ability to link crimes with the use of Facebook and Twitter. It has become dangerously more frequent leading up to 2017. Statistics released by these same police forces show that a total of 653 people are facing criminal charges over the allegations made in the past year.

“Social media related crimes” does not just mean cyber-bullying. It can include any sort of threatening attack, identity theft, or even burglary. How does social media facilitate theft, you ask?

Think of this. Have you ever gone somewhere with your friends or family and posted it as a status, uploaded a current photo or shared your location? This sort of activity is what opens up a home for burglary. In other words, a crime of opportunity.

Social networking often merely fuels the fire for crime. According to the entrepreneurs organization, social networking sites have the greatest potential for abuse. Many sites ask for your full name, your date of birth, your home town, your relationship status, etc. But, what could be happening in those situations is actually the rise in potential for fraud and identity theft.

Don’t get me wrong — social media is a fantastic tool! It connects us. It informs us. It stimulates us. It is a great tool when you use the tool wisely.

Use it wisely.

Written by Hannah Ross.

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