Over the past couple of weeks, even years, there have been numerous breaches of users’ personal data over multiple social media sites. Under Armour’s company MyFitnessPal, a food and nutrition application, was breached and an estimated 150 million users were affected. Also, last year, Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency, was breached and as many as 147.9 consumers were affected in some kind of way – that is nearly half of the people in the United States.
Finally, social media juggernaut, Facebook has been one of the most jarring data breaches yet. Not only because a private firm mined data that was supposed to be private, but data that Cambridge Analytica received was weaponized and targeted voters in elections in Great Britain and the United States.
With social media being more useful than ever, the question comes to mind: How can a person for sure keep their data secured? In laymen’s terms, a person cannot officially keep all of their data private. Once a person agrees to use the platform, they are at the will of the company they have set up an account on. There may not be a precise way to keep all person’s data secure, but here are four ways that a person can use to keep their data secure over social media.
1. Keep Account set to private
For a lot of individuals creating a business or a brand, setting their main account to private may hinder their ability to interact with current and potential collaborators, consumers, and other brands. However, by setting a social media account to private, the user has to ability to control who sees their content and when other users see their content. The drawback is, private accounts can still be breached by the owner of the platform.
2. Stop apps from sharing your data
This may be one of the simplest overlooked aspects when concerning using social media platforms. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have become financial royalty by selling users’ data to third parties.
An easy way to take back control is to take away a platform’s power to share personal information with third parties. The way to stop social media sites from sharing a users’ data differs from application to application, but it is possible.
3. Limit what data apps can share
Just like with everything a user posts on social media, users are only allowed to see what users post, make sure that apps can only see what user’s want them to see.
There is no way that to completely shut out data from being mined from a social media user’s account but the user can censor the type of data that third parties have access to.
4. Contact Politicians About Policy over data on Social Media
A basic effort that many Millennial’s forget is that they have the power to contact their local politicians about creating change in their community. With the ever-growing danger of continuous breaches when it comes to social media there need to be policies in place that will better protect users while on the respective apps.
Walter Mossberg, a former technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal said at a ‘Social Media and the Crisis in Social Discourse,’ panel at Pit Institution: “We need a policy in privacy, we need a policy in security and we need regulation.”