With tongues firmly planted in cheeks, the practice has been humorously labeled “promiscuous friending,” but it really isn’t a laughing matter. It’s the practice of accepting any and all friend requests on social networking sites, like MySpace and Facebook, and it’s becoming a serious problem. Promiscuous friending is reckless online behavior and it’s creating a whole new class of social network users – cyber-crime victims.
Everyone seems to understand the grave risks of engaging in promiscuous sex. But, few people seem to know the dangers in this new form of promiscuity; one that has become commonplace on social networking sites, like MySpace and Facebook. No less than indiscriminate sex, promiscuous friending can have life-altering consequences. For a tragic few, those consequences have been deadly.
What are the consequences of promiscuous friending?
Nearly every instance of computer hacking, identity theft, ruined reputations, stalking, and sexual harassment can be directly attributed to the practice of promiscuous friending. Tragically, there have been deadly consequences for a rare few. Children have fallen prey to pedophiles. Women have been brutally raped and murdered. In a recent notorious case, a teenage girl was driven to suicide by an enemy posing as her MySpace friend. This has even made possible when people are now able to buy IG followers cheap. With this service, everyone can now have a lot of followers on Instagram. As a result, other social network sites linked to it like Facebook will also have a lot of followers. The more followers, the more chance of having promiscuous friending. So it is important to be very careful.
Who is at risk?
Just about everyone who’s had an account on MySpace for more than a week has probably engaged in promiscuous friending. I know that I have and I’ll bet you have, too. It shouldn’t be considered acceptable behavior, but it is. It’s not only accepted, it’s recommended and encouraged to social networking newbies by veterans who proudly write articles on how they made
There are actually several software programs to help you – just in case you’re inept at quickly moving yourself down that road to ruination on your own. For as little as $29.95 you can become a truly efficient promiscuous friender. Sheesh! It’s not bad enough that we’re getting bad advice from other MySpace users for free – some of us are actually paying for it!
Even if you are among the uncommon few who refuse to accept friend requests from total strangers, you’re still at risk. If you have a friend, relative or business associate engaged in promiscuous friending, you could end up paying the price for their risky behavior. A current case in point is the Koobface Virus that infected MySpace back in August, moved on to Facebook and has recently turned up on the Bebo site. Koobface gets its foothold through those friend lists. Even the cautious social networker is falling victim to the virus for no better reason than they are the friend of a friend who is a promiscuous friender.
How to protect yourself
- The first step to protecting yourself is to undertake a great purge of your Friends List on MySpace or whatever social networking site you belong to. Be brutally honest with yourself. If you’re not having at least weekly one-on-one contact with someone, they aren’t your friend. Don’t worry about offending someone – noone receives a message telling them that they’ve been de-friended. For the friends that remain, put stricter limits on what they can have access to on your page. Refer to the Help section of your networking site.
- Even if you haven’t seen any sign that your account has been infected by the Koobface virus, follow these instructions to be sure: (1) run an updated virus scanning software program to detect and destroy any virus, worm or malware currently in your system,(2) change your social network password, (3) pump up your privacy settings under the system preferences or options tab on your computer.
- Log into your social network and change your password.
Implement a firm policy of not accepting friend requests from total strangers and friends of friends. Before you accept someone you do know, review their profile. If they’re sporting a Friend List that runs to several hundred names or more, deny their request. If they should ask you why, do them a favor and point them to this article. Talk to them about the dangers of promiscuous friending and suggest that they reconsider their friend policy too. Real friends look out for one another like that.
Protect yourself and your friends from becoming the next victims of promiscuous friending on Myspace and Facebook. Practice safe friending and ask your friends to do the same.