Nowadays sharing personal information on popular social networking sites such as facebook, instagram, twitter has become a social trend user’s feel comfortable about sharing their private life online but the issues of privacy online still remains. A case study revealed that users of social networking sites have now become more open and sharing more and more personal information online and with number of people.
This may have become a social trend in modern times but users should keep in mind that information can be used in harmful ways such as for stalking or identity theft. Therefore a balance should be kept between online disclosures of personal information and privacy as increasing the scales may be harmful to the users. Users of social media should take into consideration what kind of information they share online and to whom it should be revealed or disclosed to. This is why users of social networking sites should develop technical skills and technical knowledge to protect their privacy online.
A clear understanding of social networking sites and privacy issues online is the key in this situation. In the recent years these networking sites have attracted millions of people around the world as on such sites people can communicate with anyone sitting in any part of the world in various ways. Social sites such as Facebook, Instagram allows the people to create a personal blog or page that represents their social connects, easily share media content online, provide a easy communication channel and share the daily updates of their life with friends and families.
However there are potential threats that are related to privacy of the users, as due to personal information are exposed to a wider audience on the internet and often information about a user are posted by others without his or her consent this produces a major risk of leaking of personal identity and information. Therefore social media complicates the boundaries of what personal information are provide to the public
Potential Danger due to Privacy Attacks
• Personal Identity theft
• Sexual predators
• Unintentional fame
• Online victimization
• Surveillance attack
• Mob rule
• Location updates
- Invasive privacy agreements
Privacy Statement regarding Terms & Conditions
One of the main concerns that people have with their security is the ignorance of the policies statements and settings in the social media networks. It is often placed in areas hard to get attention, like the bottom left or right corner of the screen. Another concern is the lack of information that users get from the companies when there is a change in their policies. They always focus more on informing users about new updates of sites, but it is difficult to get information about these changes in policies.
Most social networking sites require users to agree to Terms and conditions of User policies before they use their services on the internet. Controversially, these Terms and conditions of User declarations that users must agree to often contain statement permitting operators to keep data of users and even share it with third parties. Some popular social networking sites such as Facebook has attracted attention over its major policies regarding data storage, holding onto data after an account is de-activated ,making it difficult to delete an account and being caught sharing personal data with third parties. Look for questions such as who owns the data that a user posts or made public? What happens to the personal data when the user account is closed?
The increase in number of users of social networking sites, have tempted developers to ask for more and more data for better user-base management and better experience for the consumer of data. This data is a main source of income for the sites by selling them to advertisers. Moreover the real deal is they are prone to get hacked or made public. That is where the issue arises. Nowadays, networking sites have become such big platform that people take their data security for granted. New features are now a regular update, and as they keep coming, with regular update there should be regular security updates also. For example, location-based services -they are very helpful, though very innovative and somewhat helpful at times of need, but they make daily routines public. Actually the main responsibility here is on the heads of the developers of these sites they have to be extra careful while developing the security patches and security keys for the sites to be vulnerable to hack and data theft.
Some people might think that online privacy is a private matter. If you don’t want your information getting out online simply just don’t put it on social media. But keeping your information private isn’t just about your own choices of interest. It’s about your friends’ choices, too. Results from a study on social media sites show that the inhabitants of the digital age may need to stop and think about just how much they control their personal information over the internet, and where the boundaries of their own privacy are.
Basic tips to stay away from Privacy Thefts
· Keep checking your privacy settings regularly. Always keep updated your mobile phone security patches.
· Always create strong passwords with special characters and use different passwords for different sites.
· Ensure that people you connect to and follow as friend must be known to you.
· Always analyze your post before posting it on any social media platform
· Never enter/ click on suspicious advertisement and links provided on sites.
· Never forget to set up your recovery data security answers.
· Always keep an anti-virus installed and updated on your computer/ phone.
· Never leave a site logged in.