What you need to know about social media and the information you share.
By now most have heard about the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica’s data snafu. But what does it really mean to you the user.
Honestly not much.
Let’s look at the bigger picture, ALL these companies collect data about you; Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and on and on.
You’ve heard the saying “There’s no such thing as free lunch”. Let me ask you, how much do you pay a month to use Facebook? Your Gmail or Outlook.com email? Bet you paid handsomely for your Twitter account. How much do spend to get directions and voice guided navigation to your friends’ new house?
These services plus countless others are used every day by you the consumer without spending a dime out of your pocket. So how can these companies afford to keep your social appetite sated?
The simple explanation;
To make sure they are showing items that might be of interest of you (If you don’t like purple shoes, showing you ads for purple shoes would be an waste of advertising revenue) they need to know who you are, what you like, your interest, your friends ( they might like some of the same things). They collect basic information about you, your name, location, email, friends, etc. I don’t remember submitting my birth certificate and social security number when I signed up for an Facebook account.
The bottom line is the majority of us like and enjoy the services these companies provide, we might actually rely on some of them. And like any other service we have to pay, but here we pay with some information about ourselves.
So what can you do about the information you share? A LOT really.
To start, use some common sense when giving out your personal information. Don’t post photos of your driver’s license, don’t use your SSN as your user name. Don’t want everyone to know your age? Make up a birth date.
Review and use privacy settings.
Decide how visible you want your contact and profile information, photos, videos and postings to be, and then take the time to learn how to set the right level of control.
Decide how searchable you want to be.
It’s best to make it a conscious choice and set up your profile the way you want, rather than leave it to the default settings.
Configure your tweet settings.
You can restrict tweet delivery to those in your circle of friends or, by default, allow open access.
Keep all tagged photos private.
If you’d like to make tagged (named) photos visible to certain users, you can choose to add them in the box under the “Some Friends” option.
Don’t share information that can help people steal your identity or locate you. Exercise good judgment when posting and sharing personal information.
Check into your ability to opt-out with advertisers and third parties.
So what about hordes screaming #DeleteFacebook?
Social media tools like Sysomos reports that people have posted more than 400,000 tweets containing the #DeleteFacebook hashtag in the past 30 days. When you look at other Facebook data you get a different picture. Facebook’s latest monthly active user (MAU) suggest that very few people, if any, have actually “deleted” Facebook. Instead, the latest data suggest that more people than ever are using Facebook.