Privacy was never Facebook’s strongest suit. Facebook seemingly has had various issues with keeping data private since its debut of “newsfeed”. While these events in the past were mere hiccups, the latest scandal has brought about a major economic backlash for the company and for its founder. The company reportedly lost about $37Billion on this latest fiasco.
The impact of Facebook on a global scale cannot be downplayed. It’s role as a weapon of mass seduction is apparent with the recent Cambridge Analytica Scandal. The report suggested that data mined from Facebook users via personality quiz apps and users likes have been used to ‘read voter's mind’ and possibly sway them in the latest American elections.
This latest event is another reminder that anything shared in social media becomes public domain. Privacy on Facebook is not as private as you think.
What can you do to keep yourself private?
Here are some tips:
These apps are seemingly harmless games. There’s nothing as fun as finding out if you are from Hufflepuff or Slytherin in a quick survey. Oftentimes, these games are ploys that companies use to gather personal information (names, age, sex, location, etc.). However, some companies, as shown in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, can use them to determine people’s preferences and paint a picture of their personality as well.
Facebook is a popularity contest. The more friends you have, the more successful you are perceived to be. This a very easy way that people or organisations can access your account. Using fake accounts people can monitor your activities and use them for various nefarious purposes. Make sure to audit your friend’s list for fake accounts and remove those who you do not have a real-world connection with.
Keep your posts, phone numbers, emails and photos private. Make sure that you manage each of your posts carefully. If you have the time, make sure to create different friends’ lists. This way you can select what people will be able to see on your newsfeed and account. For instance, you can create a list for family only or close friends only. This will ensure that you can control what people see about you.
#DeleteFacebook was trending last month. This movement was a public outcry from this scandal.
Privacy is currency in this social media active world. Personal details are normal to share with friends and family. But, if these details are broadcast publicly, they can be used in many different scams and threats. Facebook is a fun platform but has hidden dangers. If you think that the danger outweighs the benefits, consider deactivating your account. Here is a guide on how to quit facebook: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/10/how-to-quit-facebook.html.