How is Social Media Invading Privacy?

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We’ve all heard about the data breaches of Facebook and cybercriminals wanting to gain access to our financial details. What most people do not know about are the more subtle, covert ways on how social media is invading our privacy. Most users are also not aware of just how sensitive the information that analysts have access to can be.

Do you know how social media platforms are invading your privacy? Are you aware of the data exposure you provide online?

The average probability that an organization will have a data breach of some kind has increased from 25.6% to 27.7% in the past year?

As for citizens, almost two-thirds of Americans have had some form of data stolen from them.

How is social media invading privacy?

social media invading privacy

Social tracking

Social media platforms tend to track various things about the way that you use these networking sites. For example, the people that you follow or add as a friend, the posts you like, the statuses or photos you post and also the profiles that you visit the most. They can analyse this activity to find out more about the type of person you are and what content can be fed to you. 

Should social media platforms have access to this sensitive data so easily? The material that you engage with and the people that you want to interact with online should remain private and is none of their concern. 

Data collection and analysis

Data analysts can create profiles for you through the information that you post on your social media profile. By analysing the type of websites you visit, adverts you click on and your personal information, analysts determine the type content that is likely to interest you. This information can then be sold to various businesses for their financial benefit. 

Content serving has allegedly affected the results of elections and has the ability to shape the opinions of users for the desired outcome of the server. Due to the lack of regulation from the government, the collection of information without consent was legal for a considerable amount of time. 

Even after the introduction of the GDPR law, which ensured that users could prevent the analysis and sale of their data, around half of social media users do not trust sites or the government to protect their information. 

Information leaks

This is relatively well known as a data privacy breach. Offenders include technology giants such as Facebook and Whatsapp. In 2018, an attack on Facebook’s computer network left the data of 50 million users exposed. This was the biggest security breach in the history of the company, leaving users questioning the values of the platform regarding privacy and security. 

In 2019 it was revealed that the software of one of the largest instant messaging apps in the world, Whatsapp, was used to install spyware on the phones of its users. This led to many individuals deleting the app and moving to more secure platforms to ensure that their information was safe and protected.

Phishing

Typical examples of Facebook phishing messages are “look what they’re saying about you…” and “is this video yours?” alongside a link. This is a typical way that criminals gain access to a variety of personal information. This can include passwords or financial information. 

If you receive a message of this type, do not click on the link and delete the message. If the account sends you another message, you can block the account from accessing your profile.

Malware (Malicious software)

If somebody has clicked on the link that was sent to them through messages described in the previous point, their account can be compromised. Their computer could also be affected, exposing the data that it stores.

social media invading privacy

This means that advertisements can be targeted, which is known as adware and sensitive information can be stolen. This is known as spyware. More serious issues can involve the extortion of money from the individual, which is known as ransomware. 

Bot attacks 

A bot is an automated account that can follow people and create posts just like a regular social media account. They can steal data, share malware and and help cybercriminals to hack into accounts and gain personal information.

Now that you know the number of different ways on how social media is invading your privacy, you may feel scared to use it. However, there’s no need to worry. There are ways to increase the security of your social networking profiles and prevent your information being stolen. 

How can we solve the issue of privacy invading on social media?

#1 Change your privacy settings.

You can choose who can access your profile, stories and content on your account through the settings feature on most social networking sites. Another thing to ensure is that your account is private, rather than public. If your account is private, people have to request to follow or friend you. This means that if your account is private, strangers will not have access to your profile.

#2 Don’t click on fraudulent links, videos, photos, or messages.

Trust your instincts and do not click on any links that look suspicious. Such links come with particular sentences devised to attract the attention of social media users. Avoid any of these that you come across and remove any account which shares them from your profile.

#3 Be careful of what your friends post online.

Even if you have taken care of your privacy settings this does not mean that those around you have taken the same precautions.

You can untag yourself from any photos that your friends post if you do not want it to be associated with your account. 

#4 Read pop-up notices about cookies before clicking accept

We are all guilty of mindlessly clicking ‘allow’ or ‘accept cookies’, but you would be surprised by the things they can hide in the small print.

Make sure that you are happy with everything that they can do with your data before clicking accept. It is also good practise to read through the terms before agreeing to something in order to protect yourself in the future. 

#5 Be responsible and reserved online

Think about what you post. Only post pictures, videos or statuses that you feel comfortable remaining on the internet forever. You can ‘delete’ them, but this does not mean that they cannot be retrieved. Anything that you post on the internet will remain there. Consider how future employers, family members and your enemies would view the information that you post on social media.

#6 Use strong passwords to protect your accounts

This is the best way to protect your social media account. If you use the same password for all of your profiles and if your password is your name or birthday, you and your information are highly vulnerable to cyber attacks. You must use strong passwords. Include capital letters or numbers where possible. 

If you don’t want to worry yourself with all this, we have a solution. Not all social media are invading your privacy.

We can defend ourselves from cyber-attacks and social media can be safe. 

Fourview is our new privacy focussed, security driven social media platform. Our ethos is to protect you and your information.

We advocate for increased security and our network is completely ad-free. Therefore, your information cannot be used by data analysts to serve you with targeted ads. Sure, everything that you post is for the audience that you intend only. On this social media, there’s no invading privacy.

The lack of security on hugely popular social networking platforms is an invasion of privacy. 

If you would like safer online engagement, the promise to protect your information and an ad-free experience Fourview is for you. You can take back the ownership of your online data by joining our network today.

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