Practically every Internet-savvy youngster today possesses an account on a social networking website like Orkut or Facebook. These websites help people get in touch with school pals, friends from abroad and long-lost contacts.
Unfortunately, the down side is that social networking online also fuels curiosity and encourages individuals to spy on other people's profiles, track their Internet activities and basically keep tabs on each other.
While you may not mind your friends viewing photographs of you or checking up on you online from time to time, the thought of a random stranger having access to your profile, your contact details and your personal entries is not a pleasing thought.
In fact, we often hear of cases through the media wherein those who like to 'meet new friends' via the Internet have found themselves in a hot soup. Some victims of online scamsters end up nursing a broken heart, but there are others who fare far worse -- they are swindled of their money, harassed online and sometimes even stalked or threatened once the opposite party has won their confidence and secured all their contact details.
So we're asking you -- have you had any unpleasant experiences on a social networking site? Cases of false identity, fraud, or simply someone invading your privacy?
How did you deal with it? What advice would you give to someone caught up in a similar situation?
Post your stories and opinions on the message board below. We'll be publishing the most interesting responses later in the week, right here on rediff.com.
Who knows? Reading about your experience may just help someone else with their social networking woes.