A Social networking site is a web application or online platform where people can set up their public profile and make connections with other online people (who have also set up their profile on the exact platform), called online friends. There are many social networking sites. We are documenting below some familiar and popular social networking sites.

(i) Facebook.

It is a platform to set up your page where you can share your ideas in the form of posts, share your photos, videos, etc. Via Facebook, you can connect with other Facebook users and conversation messages, posts, etc. It permits you to view the posts, images, and videos shared by your friends and provides options to like them or comment on them, etc.

ii) Twitter.

It is a microblogging site that permits publishing very small messages (the earlier limitation was 140 characters, now extended to 280 characters).

(iii) LinkedIn.

It is a social network for professionals. It provides features to create profiles that look sort of detailed overviews, with areas for work knowledge, education, volunteer work, certifications, honors, and all sorts of other suitable work-related information.

(iv) Instagram.

It is one of the most famous social networks for online photo sharing. It offers features like transferring real-time photos and short videos while on the go.

Some other popular social networking sites are Google+, Pinterest, Snapchat, Reddit, etc.


Social media is everywhere these days. The direct and indirect connectivity with social media has created it too difficult to stay fully anonymous these days. In fact, the openness that the Internet offers has resulted in a larger challenge, sometimes risky that the data we post online can be shared like never before.

Do you know that whatever you do online – post something or visit friends’ pages or search for something, etc. leaves a permanent footprint, named a digital footprint and it stays for years keeping track of your online activities?

What You Should Know?

While using social networking sites, you must understand about the right online behaviors and what cybercrime means. You have read about some cybercrimes above. If one thinks that by creating some anonymous profile and using fake info, he/she can do such activities without getting noticed, he/she is definitely mistaken. Modern technology tools can discover anyone online using his IP address, location, etc. So, one must not satisfy with these activities at all. Also, everything gets added to your digital footprint.

Digital Footprint

Digital footprints are the logs and trace people leave back as they use the Internet. Your interactions on social media, your friend circle on social media sites, sites you see, online purchases, locations visited through Facebook check-ins, etc. all make up your digital footprints.

 A common comparison to digital footprints is the footprints you leave behind you when walking along a coast. Every step you take leaves an impression on the sandy texture that permits another person to see the effects that your activity has created and offers the possibility for them to follow your trail. Digital footprints are also guided to as “digital tattoos”.

Unlike a beach footprint which will ultimately fade away, the Internet and any electronic ‘event’ in general – don’t perform the same way. It’s secure to think that anything you do, publish or post online may be there forever and won’t be washed away.

Mistakes aren’t as easy as they used to be because once we publish anything online, it stays permanently and cannot be undone, Digital Footprints stay permanently, and colleges and jobs will look back at them to see if you are what you represent and how you work yourself actually.

Digital footprints can be of two forms:
  • Active footprints are created by the online activity you do intentionally.
  • Passive footprints, are created by any and every activity that you execute online and you do not even know about it e.g., your searches, your online payments, games you play, and so on.

Privacy Settings

When you begin using social media, you should not go with default privacy settings. Preferably it is always a good thought to set up privacy settings yourself by using Account settings. Via privacy settings, you can control :

  • Who all can see what you have published,
  • Who all can send friend requests to you
  • All details about you are visible to others, even to your contacts, etc.

In brief, you should always set up privacy settings for all types of social media accounts yourself.

Social Media Etiquettes (Usage Rules)

While using social media, if you guide yourself in a reliable way, you can enjoy using social media and can use its influence for yourself. For this, you should follow the following usage limitations relevant to the use of social media.

Be Authentic

Be honest about your identity. In personal posts, never pose as an approved person of an institution or organization. Represent yourself in a simple and honest way, without boasting.

Be Secure

While creating social media accounts, always pick your passwords carefully. Your password should not be easily guessable like your surname, school name or date of birth, etc. You should follow the practice of:

  • choosing powerful passwords (a mix of upper and lower-case letters with some numbers and symbols, in the range of 10-20 characters.)
  • frequently changing your passwords.
  • not using the exact password over multiple social media accounts.
  • never share your personal credentials like user name and password with others person.
  • identifying fake news, and fake posts, and never trust them.

Be Reliable

Be careful what you upload as once something is uploaded, it stays permanently on the Internet (even if you delete it.)

 If you are associated with an institution or organization in some form (student or faculty or team etc.), and you are sharing your private views about something, Use a disclaimer to create it clear that these are your private views and you do not represent any institution or organization here.

Don’t Pick Fights Online

Periodically people may react to your post in a way you do not see good. In such a possibility, it is suggested not to pick fighting online. Instead, convey your unhappiness through constructive posts/messages while carefully choosing the right words. If, however, the posts are too degrading and drop into the category of trolls or cyberbullying then take it the way we mentioned in the earlier paragraph.

Don’t Use Fake Names or Pseudonyms

Never pretend to be someone else. If you think that creating an anonymous profile would mask you online, then you are mistaken. Modern tracking tools can easily track apparently anonymous posts and their authors. Therefore, anonymity online is just a myth.

Protect Your Identity

While you should be fair about yourself, you should never provide or post personal details online. The scam artists or identity thieves keep looking for such items and can use your data to conduct some scam or crime.

Therefore, NEVER list your full name, parents’ details, home address, or phone number online. It is a good concept to create a different e-mail address that is used only with social media sites. Also, you should never share near your location online; thieves are always ready and love such possibilities.

Does Your Information/Post Pass the Publicity Test?

Before you post something online, perform a Publicity test on it. The rule is: if your post /message is not permissible for a face-to-face chat, over the telephone, or in another medium, then it is NOT ACCEPTABLE for a social networking site also.

Ask yourself, would I like to see this published in the newspaper or posted on a billboard tomorrow or ten years from now? If your reply is Yes, feel free to publish it.

Respect Your Audience

Sometimes school/college students chat in slang or use some abusive words which they see okay within their small group. But these things must not be published online. Don’t use slang, private insults, obscenity, or engage in any behavior that would not be acceptable in your connected world.

Respect Other’s Sentiments

You should always respect others’ privacy and be considerate of topics that may be considered sensitive such as politics and religion. Therefore you should never publish anything that may compromise someone’s privacy or hurt someone’s emotions.

Monitor Comments

 Most people who maintain social media sites welcome commentaries- it creates credibility and community. You should like to review and approve comments before publishing them on your site. This way you will confirm the quality of comments. But this also requires that you should respond in a timely manner to comments so that comment posting happens in a specified amount of time and is not postponed for an unnecessarily long time.

With this, we need to the ending this chapter. if you have any words about this post then comment below.

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