Written by:2010/03/13 12:15 AM
This week South Africa was rocked with the news of a 17 year old school girl who was found murdered in the privacy of her home. Her father arrived home to be greeted by the bloody site of her mutilated body.
The teenager stayed at home because she was unwell. Suffering from an ear infection, her father allowed her to stay home, believing in the safety of his home.
The 17 year old girl was raped and stabbed multiple times with her throat cut and slit open. The worst was her hands were missing. That's right, cut right off. It is believed that the killer or killers cut her hands off and took them with them because she might have scratched her attackers. Believing that their DNA would be under the nails they cut her hands off and took them with as they left the bloody scene.
The sad thing is that this could have been avoided. The teenager’s father believes that the murderer was someone she met on Facebook. The dogs were locked outside in the back and there was no sign of forced entry. Police believe she might have known her attacker, and let him/them in.
This true story brings home the striking reality that criminals are lurking on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, etc. Waiting for that all trusting person. Although it can not yet be confirmed that the murderer is indeed a Facebook lurker, it is none the less a frightening and real threat.
“She logs on to Facebook about 25 times a day and gets annoyed when her roommate doesn't comment on her new photo album. She says she doesn't worry if casual acquaintances know everything about her; her online profile shows her cellphone number, e-mail address, screen name, campus post-office box and 153 pictures of her with friends and a boyfriend. She would list her dorm's suite number, too, she says, but that's against sorority rules designed to protect her personal safety.”
In today's world social networking sites are popular means of communication for people of all ages . This is a good thing in many respects as it allows people to have free online contact with friends and family. But sometimes it can bite back, because sometimes even people we know and trust will use online social networking sites as a way to harass and stalk us, or God forbid do worse.
The dark side of social networking sites is that they allow others to know a person’s contact information, interests, habits, and whereabouts. Consequences of sharing this information can range from the relatively harmless but annoying harassment, such as an increase in spam, to the potentially deadly, such as stalking or even worse. As in the case of the 17 year old girl.
While the vast majority of people using social networking sites do not pose a threat, malicious people may be drawn to them because of the accessibility and amount of personal information available on them.
Criminals can use information provided about a person’s birthday, location, routine, hobbies, and interests to impersonate a trusted friend or convince the unsuspecting that they have the authority to access personal or financial data. They can even use such info to guess your account passwords.
Children and young teens are especially susceptible to the threats that social networking sites present. Although many of these sites have age restrictions, there is no real way to enforce these requirements. IT is also possible for children to misrepresent their ages so that they can join.
Predators may target children, teens, and other unsuspecting people online. Sometimes posing to be someone they are not. Then slowly “groom” their target, forming relationships with them and then eventually convincing them to meet in person.
Parents should be have in depth knowledge of such threats so as to teach their children the risks involved. Know your child's every move. Know who their so called online friends are. Keep a vigil watch over them.
You might say, what about their privacy. Hey if invading their privacy saves their life, then its a no brainer.
There are a bunch of logical precautions that one can take when interacting on social networks. Here are a few to remember.
Be aware of potential dangers. Be vigilant. I leave you with this Biblical verse, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family of this murdered girl. Say a prayer with me won’t you. Expecially that these criminal get caught.
Remember you can win a weeks worth of free ad space just for commenting. The best comments during the week will get a weeks free advertising space. Check out: Win free advertising for your blog
New here, or perhaps you've been here a few times? Like this post? Why not subscribe to this blog and get the most up to date posts as soon as they are published.
Get involved in our community. Help promote other bloggers. List your blog in our directory for bloggers. Blog Directory for Bloggers
0 comment(s) so far...
Do you want to receive blog updates via e-mail. Then just click on the link below. You will be redirected to Google's feed burner, where you can fill out a form. Supplying your e-mail address.
The subscription is managed entirely by Google's Feedburner. We cannot and do not collect your email address.
Subscribe to The Brave Programmer by Email
Sign up with Disqus to enjoy a surprise box of features