Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other concerns about online privacy and data security on social media platforms, many users are now considering the ways that they can keep their personal data safe online.
After all, even those who don’t personally share a lot of information online can be exposed by friends and followers, and even small pieces of insight, such as the posts users engage with, can be used to create a profile to target them.
Privacy Settings On Accounts Aren’t True Protection
Many social media users believe that updating their privacy settings on platforms can help them stay private, and whilst these will limit the number of users who can access their data, they do not stop the platforms themselves from selling it to third parties. This means that using the privacy settings to hide an account won’t guarantee the user complete privacy, because the danger isn’t from the other users on the site, but from the company that owns the platform they’re posting on.
There Are Alternative Platforms For Privacy-Focused Users
For users who want to enjoy the same features of social media without the issue of having their data sold to corporations and being bombarded with targeted adverts, the best option is to try moving away from traditional platforms. One social media platform that is making waves for its innovative approach is Emenator, which has been designed as the next generation of social media. Users can enjoy a modern, sleek platform that never shows them adverts, and the solution’s creators guarantee that they will not pass user data on to any third parties. Algorithms do not control what appears on a user’s Emenator feed, meaning that they can enjoy user generated content that they want to see.
Sensible Posting Is Still Important
Even when using safe platforms and strong privacy settings, users still need to be careful about the information and photographs they post on social media. Connections or followers could potentially share this information on other, less secure platforms that sell data, or even use the information themselves to cause users harm. For example, there have been many cases over recent years where users have told followers that they are going on holiday, only to have their home robbed whilst they are away.
Deleting Social Media Accounts Won’t Always Help
In the wake of the recent social media privacy scandals, many users have decided that deleting their social media accounts is the best option. However, research has shown that this might not actually help, as data encoded by platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as the accounts of friends and acquaintances, can be used to gather data even once an account is deactivated.
In summary, online social media privacy is a serious issue that users cannot avoid. The best solution is to use alternative platforms which do not sell data. At the same time, users should work to lobby governments and regulators to change the laws to ensure that companies are no longer allowed to use dangerous practices, such as selling data and interfering with the information users are able to view. Posting sensibly will also help to reduce the information that other users and companies have access to, but until the laws change popular platforms will continue to harvest and sell data.