Social media is a platform that allows people to interact and connect with one another. Apart from helping people be in touch with others and find out what they are doing in their lives, it also serves as a platform for sharing news, for advertising, etc. The importance of social media can be understood by the fact that more than a billion people use sites like Facebook and Twitter each and every day. However, there are a few dangers to using Social Networking sites as well.
Social Networking sites have a lot of users, and it is the only place where people find it simple to raise their voices over any issue. People share news and comment on links to express their views and opinions. Apart from that, social networking sites can serve as platforms to find out as much one wants to about someone as they can.
People’s profiles have information like their birthdates, places of work, where they live, where they have studied in the past, their phone number, relationship status, etc. While it helps people connect with others, it can also be misused. Edward Snowden revealed how the NSA has a censorship program called PRISM which monitors the social media activity of all the US citizens.
All the posts and information shared by people is monitored. Other tools like SMMS can also be used by the government to predict public opinion and threats from activists. The software generates false positives as well, leading to innocent people being intimidated.
Protecting Social Media Data
As mentioned above, the government can, and does, monitor all the information that you share and all the things that you do on social networking sites. Protecting yourself from them is quite important, which is why we provide you with some methods to do so.
- Careful Registration
Initially, Facebook and such sites were quite stringent against people not giving real information while registering. However, one can now register on their network by providing false information as well. If you don’t want Facebook to know your real name or place of living, you can provide false ones. Also, only give information that is absolutely necessary for registration. The security questions can also be used to know about you, like which city you last lived in, so you can even save false answers for them to go one step further.
- Disclose Minimal Details
One must always remember that it is them who choose what information about them is available on social media sites. It can land up there only if you choose to share it. To keep it confidential, do not share sensitive information.
- Privacy Settings
Social media sites have different privacy settings which can be used to offer better protection to your data. You can go to the Privacy Settings page and change them according to your needs. For instance, you can choose if people who are not in your friend list can view your pictures or information. Always check it regularly so that your privacy settings are maintained.
These three methods are quite basic but they help you get the job done. Governments all over the world actively monitor the social media posts and data of their citizens, which is a blatant violation of user privacy. To protect yourself from this onslaught of surveillance, follow these steps, and perhaps do a little more research to find out more ways.