When using social media, it is very important to keep in mind that nothing you post will ever remain completely private. Once something is in cyberspace, it is in cyberspace forever. We need to be careful about the content we share, because we do not know who will see it or how it may be used against us. These days our location can be shown in a number of social media posts, which along with photos which show our appearance and other information which we may allow to be available to the public eye, we potentially put ourselves in danger.
As there are currently no standardised privacy guidelines for social media websites to follow, users will find that privacy policies differ greatly between social media platforms.
Do not assume that there are strict laws protecting your online privacy, because at this current stage there is not much to protect you at all. It is the users responsibility to be vigilant about protecting their own privacy, which means we must be careful about how we use social media. From what we post, to what we share in our account information. Once it is online, it is there for ever, and not everyone in cyberspace is ethical or respectful of the rights of others.
In my personal life I tend to be a bit lax when it comes to protecting my online privacy. I of course know to avoid the obvious scams – stay away from those advertisement banners people, they will only do your computer harm. But with Facebook and similar sites I tend to be not too bothered. With my new phone, my calendar automatically displays events and birthdays from my Facebook account. I didn’t set this up, it’s just how my phone works. While it can be useful in some cases, it does make me wonder what else can be accessed that I may not know about. Something I should probably check out for sure.
- Identity theft
- Sexual predators
- Unintentional fame
- Difficulty gaining employment
- Online Victimization (cyber bullying)
- Surveillance (sites sharing personal details of users to advertisers and internet tracking companies).