Social media is a part of our everyday lives. Despite the many benefits of these platforms, social media privacy issues remain a major concern among users. 

Learn about the sensitive information that social media sites can access about their users and why it's important to maintain privacy while using these sites. 

Why Social Media Use Doesn't Ensure Privacy

A key part of social media is to share photos, videos, posts, and updates about one's personal life and interests. Users can decide what kind of information they voluntarily post on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. However, personal, identifiable information is also available based on the site's privacy setting loopholes. 

Sites can release a user's information via tracking cookies and then take part in third-party data sharing. Tracking cookies will monitor key parts of someone's online activity, including:

  • Websites they visit
  • Keywords they search for
  • Purchases they make
  • Social media posts they share 

Risks of Social Media Data Mining

All the information that tracking cookies collect becomes valuable for companies looking to advertise to customers. Data brokers can sell the segmented information so companies can create customized ads, which remains one of the most controversial social media privacy issues. The problem escalates when hackers and cybercriminals gain access to this information. 

Threat actors can obtain sensitive user information and execute attacks on their networks. Data mining can lead to a data breach and puts users at risk of receiving malware and viruses that destroy their device's network. 

Noteworthy Social Media Privacy Issues

In addition to data mining, users subject themselves to several other privacy concerns when they use social media. Below is a breakdown of key issues to be aware of as a business owner. 

Location Settings

Hackers can manipulate a user's location settings to obtain more data about them. Adjusting the settings on a social media site will protect you since scammers can track your device's location through public Wi-Fi networks and cellphone towers. The best way to keep your location private is to turn off GPS location services and use the site on a virtual private network. 

Fake Information

Bots and malicious actors can spread false information across social media sites. Most platforms have procedures for flagging and removing false or misleading content. It can take some time for moderators to address every post containing fake information, so remember to fact-check everything you see on social media. 

Awareness of these social media privacy issues isn't enough to protect yourself. You must also take the proper precautions to protect your privacy when using these sites. 


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