Social media is a booming industry and it’s left behind the many privacy concerns that we take seriously in our real lives. But fortunately, more people are catching on to how accessible they are to the outside world. And it’s even becoming one of the more pressing issues with both users and popular social media sites alike.
Still, many social media sites aren’t perfect. In fact, most of them drop the ball when it comes to privacy-related promises they’ve kept in their policy agreements. Sites like Facebook, Path and Instagram have all been fined for failing to keep your personal data private.
These privacy missteps are becoming more transparent among the public due to the wide scope of mass media and news outlets. Consequently, people are becoming very concerned over the state of social media and online privacy.
So without further ado, we give you the top-3 social media privacy concerns of 2013.
Be Wary of Merging Your Social Media Accounts
Social media sites have gotten smart. They understand that you have multiple accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, and they want you to interconnect between platforms. And many smaller social media companies are taking note.
Inevitably, big name social media sites are going to acquire smaller firms. Facebook didn’t expand without the acquisition of Instagram along with various social media tools at your disposal. But by doing so, they’ve run the risk of acquiring new tools that take some kind of learning curve, just like any company does. And once their in unfamiliar territory, problems can arise, specifically, with your privacy. We’ve seen it happen with Facebook, Instagram and Path.
Single Access Sign-On Pages Can Potentially Risk Your Privacy
We use single access sign-on pages because they are easy. You log-in to a third party website with your Facebook or Twitter account and its a quick way to interact with the platform. Unfortunately, we’ve seen many of these websites share your personal information. Websites that you never intended to share with. And there’s plenty of money in it for them to continue down that path.
Watch for Universal Online Privacy Legislation
Once you share your private information with anyone, let alone social media sites, there’s no guarantee they will keep it private. PRISM made that very clear. And speculation still continues to swirl on how much information sites like Facebook and Google shared with the government. It just goes to show you that these privacy leaks are, to an extent, unavoidable.
Fortunately, these privacy missteps have got the public attention. And there must be universal privacy legislation in order for people to feel safe online again.
So, while there are plenty of potential privacy risks circling social media in today’s landscape, we must act fast in how we combat these threats. Otherwise, we’ll be subjected to the profit-driven privacy policies that best fit the needs of the brand name social media sites.
Nick Trenchard is an experienced digital advertising project coordinator, tech blogger and sports journalist for four years. He has written creative, engaging and informative tech content for various startup blogs about online safety including his last feature about internet privacy issues.