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Media Psychology

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Media Psychology

Media Literacy

David Jacobs

PYSC 8765


Dr. Cabiria

Media Literacy

The popularity and dependence on the Internet and mobile technologies have grown dramatically.  Gackenback (2007) mentions that evidence suggest that computer-mediated communication and Internet based behavior involves high levels of self-disclosure.  Studies have revealed that online users seem to be comfortable revealing personal and intimate information about their live in a public forum (Gackeback, 2007).  This level of disinhibition can lead to unsafe and potential risk to one’s privacy.  Revealing personal information online can lead to identity theft, grooming and abuse by online predators and cyber bullying.  For example, an individual may go to the bank and inform his online followers of his location.  Online users now will be able to see where he banks making him an easy target for identity thieves.  Revealing your location may also inform burglars that your home is empty.  For example professional football player Desean Jackson house was robbed for a significant amount of money and jewelry while he was vacationing.  Jackson, a huge social media user, announced to his followers that he was on vacation and posted many pictures confirming his location provided the burglars with a confidence that no one would be present at Jackson’s house.

The Internet and mobile technologies has provided access to an endless world of information and social interaction with people from all over the world.  While many individuals may reveal private information to others, there are also individuals who remain anonymous and create alter egos.  Gackenback (2007) mentions that some individuals may be comfortable flirting online, but are shy offline.  Some individuals may create a fake profile and build relationships with unsuspecting users know as catfishing.  For example, Manti Teo a current NFL football player was the center of a major catfishing scam during his final year at Notre Dame.  He built an online relationship with a male user pretending to be a young lady.  Individuals that develop relationships with users lacking honestly are putting their safety at risk.  For example, Rashad Moon allegedly murdered Felix Dejesus, after the two had set up a meeting regarding Dejesus buying two tablets from Moon.  There are numerous amounts of situations where individuals have been harmed by meeting an online user in reality.  

Providing online users with proper training and media literacy may provide users with proper steps and awareness when if comes to online activity.  Informing users of the dangers of Internet that exist while logged online may prevent users to surf irresponsibly. Potter (2013) suggests online users can use seven major techniques to protect their privacy.  1) Take inventory about what information is publicly available to you.  2) Assess the degree to which that available information threatens you privacy.  3) Correct inaccuracies.  4). Monitor threats.  5) Read privacy policies of companies request private information.  6) Download software to protect your computer 7) Disallow cookies.  

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