Twitter, the social networking site that allows users to post comments of 140 characters or less, has been growing at a rate of more than 1,000% annually. Though still dwarfed by sites like Facebook and MySpace, new research by Rasmussen indicates that 9% of Americans now have a Twitter account. Who would have predicted 10 years ago that over 29% of Americans would belong to a social networking site?
The study also found that tweeters (those who post on Twitter) are most likely to be between 18 -39 and earn over $75,000 a year making them ideal targets for marketers, and predators of all kinds – whether their aim is financial, emotional, reputational or physical harm. More surprising to me than the finding that 52% are concerned about the safety of their personal information and 26% are very concerned, is that 45% are not concerned of which 10% aren’t at all worried.
While it’s true that it is entirely possible to use Twitter without divulging personal information, most users expose far more than they imagine. I’m not knocking Twitter, (in fact you can follow me @ http://twitter.com/LindaCriddle) but learning how to stay safe while using any social media is a key skill to staying in control of your life online.