The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has triggered a wave of fear and distrust in social media. Users feel violated, and confidence in technology has nose-dived.
But scandals like this have happened in the past and will continue to occur in the future. The outcry in the form of hashtag #DeleteFacebook is an important movement because it shows how unaware users were of their shared data.
The fact is that the minute we put our information online, others have access to it, private or not.
Companies try to secure it as much as possible, but it is up to the users to remember to post consciously and understand the implications of the data they are sharing online.
Although many people have a knee-jerk reaction to a scandal like this, it’s important to understand how it happened, and the steps you can take to prevent it from happening to you.
Why social media still matters
The value of social media requires no explanation. Steering clear of technology is not a realistic option in today’s world, and Facebook doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.
In terms of revenue, Facebook’s overall earnings increased more than 40 percent in the last quarter of 2017 alone. Daily users are up 14 percent over the past year, and monthly users exceed 2.1 billion people. This growth in social media continues to dominate, despite incidences in the past that call data protection into question.
Let’s put it into perspective:
The Cambridge Analytica scandal occurred nearly four years ago. The users’ profiles that were involved were supposed to be used only for academic purposes, but the firm used the data for commercial purposes.
It is likely that the data accessed was already accessible to your hundreds of friends, and we know how it was used and who is behind the scandal. Facebook has since banned this sort of access for any academic or commercial purposes, and it continues to make security improvements to its site.
How can we use social media safely in 2018?
When a third-party app requests access to your account, verify the information they are requesting access to. You can alter some of this information by unchecking the boxes on their pop-up or request.
To review the third-party apps that currently have access to your profile information on Facebook, check out the following trick:
Go to your settings on the homepage of Facebook.
From here, navigate to the app section.
Remove any of the third-party apps that you no longer want to have access to your profile information by checking the boxes and clicking “remove.”
Note: Be aware that even your private information has a possibility of being a part of a data scandal. Don’t give websites access to anything too personal, and if you do, make sure you are on a secure internet connection.
Don’t #DeleteFacebook — #TakePrecautions
Facebook has created an amazing platform to connect with people on a whole different level of communication. Knowledge and networking has become so easily accessible to us, but it is our job to consciously filter the information we are taking in and giving out.
- Become aware of your privacy settings.
- Don’t give out information without understanding exactly who can see it.
- Be aware that we are in the digital age. Data breaches can happen, and that is why many companies are beginning to offer protection against this possibility.
Technology is an invaluable resource to every business, and in most cases, the risk is worth it.