Social networking sites have been popular with young people since they started appearing on the internet, although they carry with them certain dangers.
One threat presented by sites like MySpace and Facebook is they offer criminals to gain information about younger people, which can lead to a variety of crimes. Those could include identity theft, or even more deadly situations.
And, with the prevalence of information present on these sites, they may also give financial institutions additional information on younger consumers, which may lead to them being denied a loan. A recent report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that companies are beginning to develop models to analyze a person’s actions online to create a more accurate credit profile.
"A credit score advises a bank on how well you have paid your bills in the past," technology analyst Jack Vonder Heide said. "But social media monitoring will tell a bank how likely you are to pay your bills in the future."
To avoid this scenario, young consumers should make sure they take up the privacy settings offered by sites like Facebook and MySpace. They should also be careful as to what information they make available online in the first place.