Hackernoon logoData Privacy In Social Media Matters and Here's Why by@rakesh-soni

Data Privacy In Social Media Matters and Here's Why

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Rakesh Soni Hacker Noon profile picture

@rakesh-soniRakesh Soni

Rakesh Soni is CEO of LoginRadius, a leading provider of cloud-based digital identity solutions.

In the past few years, privacy fears amongst social media users have augmented tremendously. Many users are frightened, and they are reconsidering their interactions on social media and protecting their personal information due to the ever-increasing data infringement cases. 

For example, the Cambridge Analytica scandal exploited millions of people’s Facebook profiles. This instance and numerous others have increasingly worsened public faith and made people contemplate if they lost their personal information. 

Recently, matters of digital privacy in social media have increasingly attained wider political and public deliberation. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and LinkedIn have grown as users' bulletin boards. 

People share all kinds of stuff like pictures, news, videos, and even their private information to attract friends of friends or people outside their companion circle without knowing that cybercriminals and advertisement companies might also be interested in their details. 

Comprehending all these privacy threats has become extremely important to take suitable measures to safeguard your social media privacy.

What Are the Issues With Social Media Privacy 

What are the concerns social media users fretted about? Are their anxieties justified? These anxieties usually arise due to continuous and prolonged usage and social media presence in an individual's life. 

According to Hootsuite's data, about forty-five percent of the global community hold a social media account. It implies that about whooping 30.48 million internet consumers connect via one or other social media forms. However, these associations on social media can leave consumers exposed to threats in numerous ways, and outgrowths can be vandalizing if your information falls into the wrong hands. 

Social media platforms that gather consumers' personal details with limited government regulation serve as attractive targets for cybercriminals browsing for data to commit fraud and identity theft.

According to Pew Research, about 86% of US citizens are more concerned about the data-collecting abilities of advertising networks like Google, Facebook, and even faceless malicious hackers. They are somehow eliminating or hiding their digital footprint. 

Types of Social Media Privacy Threats

Data mining

Every consumer creating a social media account must present their details like their email address, name, contact number, geographic location, and various more and leave a data trail behind on the web. 

Furthermore, numerous companies collect information on users’ behaviors like how, when, and where consumers use their social media platform. All of this information is collected and utilized by corporations to make their advertisements reach a wider audience. Frequently these organizations further share consumer’s data to the third party without their consent, and all this is known as data mining. 

Phishing

Another most prevalent way how cybercriminals gain access to consumers’ data is phishing. Phishing attackers portray themselves as a legitimate corporation and often lure victims in the form of a text message, email, or maybe a call. 

These communications con individuals into sharing personal information like credit card details, passwords, banking information, and many more. Social media is more prone to these phishing attacks. 

A massive phishing attack targeted Instagram users by faking a two-factor authentication login method and prompted people to log on to a hoax Instagram page in August 2019.

Malware sharing

Malware is malicious software created to obtain a path to consumers’ data and the information in their system. Malware can steal all your information or even extort money once they enter your computer. 

Social media platforms are the most favored choice of malware distributors as access is very easy there. Once a phishing attack has imperilled an account, cybercriminals can easily disseminate the malware around.

Botnet attacks

A social media bot is a consumer account that automatically follows new accounts or creates posts whenever a particular phrase is specified. 

A comprehensive assortment of bots can create an interface perceived as a botnet. These botnets are most popular on social media and are employed by cybercriminals to steal your valuable data. 

Tips for Ensuring Social Media Privacy 

Security and privacy issues in social media are increasing day by day. Consumers should be extra careful while using a social media platform. 

Mentioned below are some tips to assist you in protecting your privacy on social media.

1. Ensure that you read and understand the terms of service.

Every social media accessible on the internet today contains its specific terms of service. Before creating an account with any social media platform or signing in, it is essential to go through these terms carefully as they might contain some important information.

Apart from this, a consumer must pay special regard to the site's privacy policies and what content and piece of information the platform shares with a third-party website. 

2. Never share private information.

If you are a social media user, you need to note that you must not share your details like your full name, address, or contact details as cybercriminals can misappropriate them in conducting fraud. 

3. Be cautious about posting pictures online.

You must always think hard and twice before posting your pictures on social networking sites. Sharing pictures on social media has been recognized as one of the most hazardous social networking pursuits. 

Posting your location through photos could further make you and your family an attractive target for cybercriminals.

4. Alter social media platform's default privacy settings.

It is always advisable to scrutinize the default privacy settings of all the social networks that you employ. Most social media companies allow bestowing your details with the third-party website as their default privacy settings.

You must always check and adjust social media privacy settings to restrict access to data these social sites can share with other third parties. 

5. Keep a tab of what data social media sites store and share.

Before creating an account with any social media platform, it is advisable to ensure what all kind of a consumer’s personal data gets stored on a social media site and what information they share with other third parties.

6. Choose carefully what details you provide on social media.

It is imperative to carefully examine the kind of secluded details you present on your social media account. A consumer must never present sensitive details like nearest location, bank account details, Social Security Number, details of your workplace, etc as providing all these details can be used to scam you or extort money from your account. 

7. Turn off your location services when not in use. 

You must always turn off your device's location services while altering your privacy settings. Doing this can restrict the privacy threat, and you will save your data to a great extent. Moreover turning off your location can limit your social media lookup. 

8. Evade clickbait

A social media platform never takes responsibility for third-party apps. You must completely refrain from clicking on the random popped-up baits as they are present by third-party websites or cybercriminals to misappropriate your data or personal information. 

The Bottom Line

Keeping yourself updated about the details of the social media sites you use can help you preserve your social media privacy issues 2021. You can employ the preventive steps mentioned above to safeguard your digital privacy in social media.

Rakesh Soni Hacker Noon profile picture
by Rakesh Soni @rakesh-soni. Rakesh Soni is CEO of LoginRadius, a leading provider of cloud-based digital identity solutions.Read my stories

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