Facebook’s recent data breach has raised more than a few concerns for social media users.
In April 2018, Facebook began to alert millions of users that their personal information was accessed during the Cambridge Analytica data breach
. (Obviously, these Facebook users aren’t happy.) More than 87 million people were said to be involved in the breach.
On Monday, April 16, affected users received a detailed message on their news feed that read, “We have banned the app 'This Is Your Digital Life,' which one of your friends used Facebook to log into. We did this because the app may have misused some of your Facebook information by sharing it with a company called Cambridge Analytica. In most cases, the information was limited to public profile, Page likes, birthday, and current city.”
Following the notice, several (angry) users took to Twitter and other social networks to voice their opinions. “It looks like Cambridge Analytica also had access to private messages. What?” Twitter user Finn Myrstad wrote.
“Facebook sold me out to Cambridge Analytica, too,” wrote another.
In a testimony before the U.S. Senate, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised the company would do more to protect the privacy of users’ data, but the public has remained skeptical.
With so many people concerned about what private data is shared by social media sites and with whom, Our Community Now reached out to Scott Relf, the CEO and co-founder of PikMobile Inc.
(an ad-free social media app), about how social media users can ensure their information is protected. Read on for Relf's top five tips.
1. Know the people you friend.
This may be obvious, but it's unwise to accept friend requests from people you don't know. (Yes, even if you share mutual friends.)
“They could be fake accounts from cybercriminals, bots, or just bad people,” Relf said. “And the more people you’re connected to, the harder it is to control what happens to the information you post.”
2. Resist the urge to take those silly quizzes.
Sure, those seemingly harmless quizzes that reveal what flavor of lemonade you'd be based on your astrological sign are fun, but they could be dangerous, too.
"Those IQ or personality tests you find on social media may take you to un-secure sites," Relf said, "making you vulnerable to identity theft by using information found on your account as well as the answers you provide to the quiz."
3. Set your profile to private.
Think about it: do you really
want to give everyone on Facebook the option to scroll through your family photos? (That's kind of creepy if you think about it.)
“Consider your needs,” Relf said. “If you use social media mainly to keep in touch with friends, you may not need a widely open setting. If you use social media for work purposes, consider two accounts: a private personal account as well as a more public business one.”
4. Put everything on lockdown.
Passwords were made for one reason and one reason only — to protect your information. If you use something simple, like your birthdate or last name, someone is bound to crack the code.
“Likewise, lock your phone with a pin or pattern, so that if you do lose it, whoever finds it doesn't have easy access to your entire online life,” Relf said.
5. For the love of Pete, do not use facial recognition.
Facial recognition, really? That's going a little overboard, don't you think?
“The only logical reason for your social media service to ask for your facial recognition is so that they can do an even better job of harvesting your data and targeting you with ads,” Relf said.
“Ideally, social media users should choose what they feed into their mind all day long,” Relf added. “Don’t give up control of your news feed to companies and advertisers that harvest your data for their benefit.”
What do you think? Did these tips help you out? Let us know in the comment section below!