Be Careful What You Click (or you just might get it)

28 Sep

The dangers of clicking before thinking have reached a whole new level during the recent years. Before, we needed to be careful with what we were clicking because:

  1. We could be led to a site we didn’t want to view like a porn site. Or,
  2. Viruses could enter our computers’ systems which would eventually make the whole system crash.

But now, due to the use and popularity of social networking sites (SNS) we need to think before we click because we could be leaking personal information about ourselves to total strangers.

I will use Facebook-related matters as my example.

The “liking” phenomenon

There was a period in Facebook where fanpages suddenly got popular. People kept clicking the “like” option when they saw a fanpage name that they agreed too. Some examples are: 5 minutes of sleep really DOES matter, Drunkenness reveals what soberness conceals, Guys who still open doors for girls and many more! There were also legitimate fanpages of products and institutions such as Krispe Kreme, McDonalds, Sanuk Philippines and many more.

It was pretty tempting I tell ‘ya. I confess that I did get into the liking mania which is why I have 635 likes in Facebook.

I have to admit though, I should’ve thought about what I “liked” more carefully. Why? After “liking” all those fanpages, all that I saw in my feed was tons of nonsensical content that were totally unrelated to the fanpages that were posting them. What’s worse, at times I would get tagged in vulgar or disgusting pictures which of course became visible in my Facebook wall.

Application after application

There was also a time when the use of applications were at a peak. Suddenly everyone was using applications that predicted their future using Tarot cards or applications that gave quotes for the day or even applications that told you who your secret admirer was. There were many pretty interesting ones, like quizzes that would tell you what your personality type is or what your birthday month says about you.

Do not copy me. Now I have to remove these 100+ apps one by one. Think before you click!

And of course, I also got into the spirit of that, and tried many apps. But, there was a catch. Many applications, especially the more recent ones, request permission to access your whole account such as pictures, videos, status updates, etc. I’m sure many of us are guilty of just clicking “yes” because we’re excited about the results, but we should be more wary of giving permission to access our accounts.

Different organizations are using what they pull from our accounts for their market research. But, do we really want strangers to have access to our photo albums, videos, notes, and the like? I personally don’t.

Manage and think

It has been established that we should think before we click on anything on the internet. But, more that we should inform ourselves about privacy settings and how to manage the applications (if any) on the different social networking sites that we use.

In Facebook, applications can be managed by simply going to the application settings under the account tab in your page. From there you can manage which applications you really want to allow access to your information. All it takes is time and patience, especially if you’ve gone through a clicking-frenzy stage (like me).


16 Responses to “Be Careful What You Click (or you just might get it)”

  1. slightlydillydallying September 29, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    I have a post that’s quite related to this. It’s entitled ‘The Art of Liking’. I do agree that there is a need to deliberately and painstakingly tweak our settings in any SNS account. People should take note that liking a page has ramifications (i.e. incessant wall posts by the site administrator, annoying updates, etc.) The worst part is, one could be potential target of what we call the like-spam.

    • Pattydc September 29, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

      So that was your post! I was trying to remember where I read that from. I put the URL of your article in this post’s trackbacks 🙂

      • slightlydillydallying October 2, 2010 at 7:02 am #

        Thanks Patty! 🙂

  2. juolpindo September 29, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    I agree. I believe that our curiosity is really one of the main reasons why we got into the hype of liking those fan pages. As for the privacy settings, it is really new to me. What I actually did with my facebook account was to delete other information and share only general information about me.

    • Pattydc September 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

      Thanks to the Workshop that Pam’s group conducted in class today we are now more knowledgeable about maximizing the Facebook features and settings. Horaay for their group!

  3. Zid September 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    I absolutely hate it when some Facebook applications post stuff on your Wall without you even knowing… well, technically some are authorized but I feel that that is just a backhanded attempt to boost others’ interest in whatever application the developer is peddling. I feel as if I don’t have control but then again, I do. Now I simply hide or block suspicious applications that appear on my feeds.

    • Pattydc September 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

      The good thing about it is that now we know better. We may have been happy-go-clickers before, but now we are actually more critical of our activities online. Now we know that we can and should manage our online activities because we may be putting ourselves in danger without even knowing it.

  4. blahblahblogsheet October 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    I was once addicted to “liking” too haha. But then, it resulted to me deleting a lot of pages. I just thought I get nothing from it. It just bugs my profile and fills my feeds (which is irritating). So, I agree with you patty, from now on we must think before we click.

    • Pattydc October 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

      Many of us are guilty with that liking thing. It’s so easy to get carried away especially when a lot of our friends are doing it 🙂 At least you’ve already deleted those annoying pages. I still have to do that. Sembreak maybe? 😐

  5. strawberrysheepcake October 1, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    I am guilty of this too! whenever I see something cute or funny I like and like and like it on facebook. But a week ago, I stopped doing that much (at least?)because of what our OC152 reporter shared with us. Sometimes these “likes” make our personal information available to the “product” itself and of course, to the public.

    I wouldn’t want my thumbnail on classified ads! :))

  6. gj October 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    I think pretty much a lot of us has experienced regretting ever clicking on links, and the dreadful like button, especially since what you ‘liked’ will quickly disappear into the flurry of updates and posts and other stuff trying to cram themselves into your feed that it would be too taxing to try and search for whatever you ‘liked’ in the first place that you now wish to ‘dislike.’

    That like button should have a warning sign right next to it, should be in bold red letters, and have a confirmation prompt about several times, just to prove you really really really REALLY like it and it was not an impulsive click. hahaha

  7. Grace October 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    I seldom “like” posts on Facebook now unless I really like them because there was a time when I’d click on the “like” button when something amuses me even the tiniest bit. The result: more updates than I would care to read. It was just too annoying that I had to stop.
    I agree with GJ’s comment. The “like” button should come with a disclaimer/warning of some sort. LOL

  8. shecainess October 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    i had this experience and i hated it. twice did it happen. first on my laptop then in an internet shop. upon clicking, a porn site appeared and a whole family of virus plagued the system, i had to have it reformatted. as for the other, i was downloading a video then the system shut down because of a stripper chick. there should be security measures to take care of this.

  9. discraft October 3, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    I’m fed up with the whole Facebook mass liking already. Haha! Floods the important announcements made on feeds. I think i attended several classes that were already cancelled because of that. Hassle. Check my blog post out for another take on clicking: Haha!

  10. kresta insurance October 3, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Great read! I want you to follow up on this topic?!?


  11. shakennotstirred007 October 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    We must all be careful of what we do online. Be careful of what you type. And even be careful of what you click. Because some things (most things actually) are irreversible. You can make up for it, but you cannot really totally undo things that you have done, even in cyberspace.

    An occasion, after it’s missed. A bullet after it’s fired. A tradition, after it is done. Time, after it has passed. Life, after it’s gone. There are some things you cannot take back.

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