Tech & Gadgets

Facebook Privacy: How Private Is the Application in Reality?

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Cambridge Analytica

Facebook has not received a severe backlash in its 14 years in running like it did in April of 2018. A UK based firm that analyzed political data called “Cambridge Analytica” was able to obtain the data of around more than 50 million users on Facebook without their knowledge. This data was procured through quizzes for a personality test and through that it got access to the user’s friends list, likes and dislikes. The data was then used to target the campaign of the current US president, Donald Trump, putting up favorable advertisements and campaign videos of the then candidate. Many believe that because the company targeted the users, seeing pro Trump campaign ads helped the president gain more followers and voters than expected previously. According to the chief officer and head of the technology research facility at GBH insights, this privacy leak has been a monumental episode that might change how companies view their privacy policies forever.

The Reality of Social Media

In this global village that we live in, the power of data has never before been taken so seriously. In order to make the most out of social media marketing, both as a brand and as users, it is important to be aware of the way it works. Facebook, for instance, collects data based on demographics like age, likes and dislikes, location, etc. So if you search for companies that offer SEO services in Orlando, it will be able to give you a list of their pages.

Facebook has always been on the receiving end of criticism regarding its privacy policy but a few months ago, the water tipped over the edge.

When the Facebook Pandora box exploded, a proper investigation was conducted which revealed that 70% of the users were unaware of their own privacy settings as the options for optimum privacy is, in reality, multi-faceted and if the individual is not tech savvy, it could end up in leaking an enormous amount of data without their knowledge.

Technicalities and confusion are the main two reasons due to which the users are unable to optimize the security settings of their social media space. It consists of many twists, turns and loopholes that if not taken care of, could be dangerous. Pushing a few buttons is not enough.

Faults with Facebook settings

Though Facebook gives you detailed options to set your privacy, it’s still a façade.

Any privacy changes made are only applied to future posts and not the ones before. This is a main cause of privacy breach and is nearly impossible to individually change the settings of each and every post.

Tagging is also one of the major concerns because when you are tagged, your privacy rules don’t apply to it. You can’t change this setting but you can review your tag before allowing the tag to be viewed on your friend’s profile.

Additional External Apps

We all like a little casual fun from time to time. Many of us indulge ourselves in a little harmless fun of quizzes, but how harmless are they exactly? When you access a quiz, you give the particular website the quiz generated from, permission to access your data and this exposes you to numerous privacy breaches. Many quiz generating websites are in one way acting with advertising agencies that access your data and target their advertisements on to your timeline. The most dangerous of them all are the ones that require you to pay up. Through cookies they end up saving your credit card details and may hack in to make purchases without you ever knowing about it.

The best way around it is to avoid them altogether.

Public Wi-Fi

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is accessing your Facebook while you’re connected to a Wifi at a public space. Public networks are very insecure and it makes it very easy to get past the system’s firewalls and hack into it. Any password or data that has been accessed through it can be achieved in a matter of minutes.

The best solution is to use a VPN. A VPN encrypts your data and creates a secure connection which allows you to access your internet safely.

Phishing Sites

Phishing websites are the real monstrosities in the new age. The sites replicate the URL’s of websites like Facebook or any other common website. The user unknowingly inserts their password and other private information to access the website. This allows the phishers to collect data and use it against the user, to promote themselves and sometimes even access credit card information. It is important that you check the URL of the website you want to access and be sure before adding information.

Facebook on its own does not do enough to protect its users; you have to take your security into your own hands at the end of the day, which is unfortunate, but also a must for the non tech savvies and technology enthusiasts alike.

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