Did you know that around 7 out of 10 American adults use social media on a day-to-day basis? Whether you are chatting with friends on Whatsapp or sharing pictures about your latest trip on Facebook, social media has become a powerful tool to connect with one another. However, misinformation and data leaks on social media pose some serious risks to our security. So before signing up for a network and adding new friends and connections, it is important to be aware of the risks.
Hacking and Identity Theft
Your social media profile pages provide your personal and professional information to hackers. The major problem with social networks is that there is no inbuilt system to authenticate someone’s personal information. So you never know whether someone is who they claim to be. For instance, a hacker creates a profile on Facebook with the stolen information from your profile. Next they send out a friend’s request to your friends on Facebook, who accept the request thinking that it is you. Once your friends add the hacker to their network, that person gets access to information related to so many other people. This can lead to major identity thefts that are becoming prevalent and are a major data privacy concern on social media. Many hood cleaning companies like www.nashvillehoodcleaning.net are implementing new policies to protect themselves and their employees from these problems.
Cyber bullying is referred to as the harassment that one faces on mobile phones, computers, and other digital devices. Social media makes it easy for strangers to view your photos, posts, and comments, thereby making it easy for someone to stalk you.
Also, cyber bullying has resulted in many high profile suicides of teenagers and young people across the world. In January 2018, police charged two 12-year-olds for cyber stalking after a girl committed suicide in Florida. In 2013, many suicides were linked to Ask.fm, which is a social media site where people can pose questions to each other anonymously. Many such incidents have been caused due to cyber bullying.
Data Sharing with Third Parties
You need to be aware of the privacy policies of the social networks that you use. Many of these policies have clauses that enable the network to share your information with third parties. For instance, Facebook clearly mentions that it shares your personal information with advertisers, developers, and partners. This implies that companies that partner with Facebook can have access to all your personally identifiable information for the purpose of targeted marketing. This causes a serious data privacy concern as your personal data is shared with a number of parties.
Spreading Spam and Malware
Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are constantly used for spreading malware. Websites such as bit.ly.com provide shortened URLs that are increasingly being used by cyber criminals to mask their URLs so that you do not know whether it is a genuine or a malicious site.
When these links are posted in a busy environment, where data is shared in the form of links and news, people who click them are directed to harmful websites. However, there are many websites that help you to know whether these shortened links are safe. Also, it is important for you to be cautious before clicking links from unknown websites.
Be careful before sharing information about your upcoming trip to Europe or an event that you and your family are excited to attend. Giving information to the online world about your whereabouts can help burglars to know that you will not be available in the house at a specific date and time.
Also, most people access social media on smartphones that automatically collect your location data and post it on social media. This puts you on an increased security risk as burglars track constant updates on people’s location on social media before committing a theft.
So the next time you post on social media ensure that you use personally identifiable information only where it is required.