29 November 2022

The Dangers Of Social Media: How Safe Are We?

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From primary school students to pensioners and retirees, the love of social media is widespread, commonly known sites and platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (just to mention a few) have become silent Gods of mother earth, but while you’re posting or updating a status, liking a photo, retweeting a funny joke or sharing that awesome pic of yourself on Instagram have you ever stopped to wonder how many people have access to all your private information?, To answer that question here are a couple of things about social media you thought you knew, but actually didn’t.

Privacy. Social media sites have recently started invading users phones and reviewing the sites they frequently visit and other data on their mobile phones and the excuse that they give out for doing this is that they want to gather information about what you like so that they can serve you better, but the question is what happens to your privacy?, people normally ignore the notifications before they click the “Allow” button but that means you have just given an external source the permission to collect data from your phone, this leaves your phone vulnerable to everything from viruses to unwanted prying eyes.

Identity theft. You keep getting notifications that your profile is 86% complete and that you need to complete it to connect with more people, so what do you do? You keep pumping in more and more of your personal information onto that social media site. Be extremely careful about what you chose to share with the world about yourself, some of the time most people don’t even know what they’re doing is a mistake, for example taking a picture of an I.D, passport or student card just because you saw something funny on it and you wanted to share it with the world, BAD idea.

Date stamps. Even though you are genuinely excited about an upcoming trip and you can’t help but update posts about where you’ll be going, take a second to remember that on social media not only your close friends will see that post and to the general public out there all they see is someone saying they won’t be home throughout a specific period. You certainly don’t want that kind of information in the wrong hands. Sometimes even just posting “I’ll be at the mall this afternoon” can leave you vulnerable.

Stalkers. This is a topic that most people shrug off and pretend doesn’t exist, or if it does they think it’s not happening to them, you can never be too sure about who’s watching your every move on social media, so it would be wise not to divulge information about your whereabouts, especially where you live.

Make sure you frequently update your security settings on your online profiles to ensure that only the people you know and trust have access to personal information about you and try to prevent adding too much personal information on public online profiles because what you may see as just a bit of harmless fun might be used as a tool against you. Stay safe..!

 

Image Credit: Agbeat