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7 Disturbing Statistics and Issues on Social Media Privacy

7 Disturbing Statistics and Issues on Social Media Privacy

In terms of continuous data breaches at major companies and scandals involving firms like Cambridge Analytica, it can appear as if there is no place to hide when it comes to protecting your social media and social media privacy settings. Indeed, it is because of topics like this that social media privacy issues are a topic getting debated the more time goes by.

You may willingly give your information to your family and friends on your social media profiles, but what happens when spambots and cybercriminals take interest in it and use it for nefarious means?

Here are seven social media privacy facts and issues that should concern you while you browse online.

1. Social Media Is a Big Part of Life Online

Internet users spend an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media.

Social media has become a large part of people's lives as a means of communication and sharing important events with our families and friends. But in the digital age that we are all living in now, it is important to be mindful of anything we share on these social media websites that can stay online --- especially if companies still keep that data even you close your social media account.

2. Doxing Exposes You to the Wrong People

Doxing is when cybercriminals upload any information that is made public-- whether by legal or illegal means-- to an open-source forum for people to steal that information. This is dangerous as it can lead to identity theft, bank theft, and ruined lives. This type of activity can affect hundreds or even millions of lives.

To protect yourself, do not open any links on social media or email addresses that you are not familiar with. 

3. Malware Brings Consequences

Any suspecting individual can open a link and not know that is a piece of malware that can compromise your social media accounts. It can also give your information to hackers that will use it for nefarious means.

Once malware is running on someone’s computer, it can be used for stealing sensitive information (known as spyware), extorting money (known as ransomware), or profiting from forced advertising (known as adware).

Malware is certainly one of the biggest social media privacy concerns to have. To protect yourself, do not open any links on social media or email addresses that you are not familiar with.

4. We Are All Connected, For Better or Worse

While it is absolutely remarkable that there are that many people connected to each other online in a way that wasn't the case twenty years ago, it also means that when or if personal information falls into the wrong hands, the consequences can be quite damaging.

When you hear that a social media data breach impacted a certain number of people using a website, there is always a chance the number is a lot higher than reported. The higher the number, the more likely that you and your friends online should be more concerned about your social media privacy settings.

5. Share Personal Information Carefully

Each time someone creates a new social media account, their data is stored inside the company's database which is then used to develop more effective marketing strategies, increase sales, and decrease costs. This activity, called data mining, allows companies to gather information and data on their users' typical behaviour. Types of personal information that can be stored can include:

  • Names
  • Birthdates
  • Geographic location
  • Personal interests

If you are going to share your personal information willingly, make sure you think twice about what you want to put up online for anyone to see. Don't put up any private information that any cybercriminals could use against you or other areas of your life. 

6. Social Media Visibility

About 79% of internet users use Facebook as one of their main social media websites.

Most people do not know they have the option to make their social media profiles private and unable to be immediately found on social media websites. Public profiles also bring the danger of people you do not know having access to a lot of personal information such as

  • Your hometown and the city you live in
  • Schools you’ve attended and when
  • Your current and former workplaces
  • Political affiliations
  • Movie, TV, sports, and other general interests

To solve this and make your profile private, go into your social media privacy settings and click the option saying to hide your profile from search engines.

7. Check the Privacy Policy

While the GDPR has affected data protection rules in Europe and UK citizens' data stored by companies like Google has been moved to other countries, you should still read the privacy policy that a website provides when you sign up on their website. This is because you need to pay attention to what information you are agreeing to share with the social media website when you sign up for an account.

Take Charge of Your Social Media Privacy

While taking your social media privacy into account, it is important to not underestimate it and assume it can always be protected. You never know what is happening to your data at any time, so you must take all precautions to protect yourself.

Our data protection plan can offer you help on protecting yourself in the digital age and equipping yourself in the fight against banking, social, and ID/identity fraud. You do not have to go down the path of protecting your data alone. Contact us today to get started on taking control of your social media privacy issues online.