Social media has completely revolutionized the world today. Nowadays, almost everyone uses some form of social media. An astonishing statistic is that 98% of 18-24 year olds utilize social media! Can you believe that Facebook has over 1.2 billion users worldwide? To think how much influence they have over the social media business is astonishing. Alongside, there are nearly 800 million active users on YouTube that spend over 15 minutes watching pointless videos every day. Other social media websites, such as Twitter have grown stronger and larger; there is over 190 million tweets happening per day, which are nearly 120 thousand tweets sent per second! Another big social media site taking over is Instagram; according to some stats, there are well over 5 million pictures uploaded to Instagram every hour.
It is becoming evident that social media is taking over. On a day to day basis, people will notice it in advertisements, television, articles etc.
But with all these various kinds of social media and our information being put out into cyberspace, how much of our information is publically displayed? What is private? Should we be concerned about our privacy online? Is utilizing social media safe?
Our information is not private
Millions of people use Twitter every day, and a lot of tweets go through. If you use twitter, I’m 100% sure that you have seen at least one person send you a direct message with a link. These links are third party applications that have gained unauthorized access to your personal data and send others a link, with the attempt to also gain their data. This is a flaw with Twitter’s permissions and how the user grants third party apps to gain access without them even knowing. When these apps gain access, Twitter has no way of informing the user that their info has been breached. A controversial issue came up during 2012, when a website began publishing users home addresses online. That is a scary thought, as your privacy is affected greatly. Twitter utilizes a location based system when users tweet, however this website was able to trace this back to their home address and even provide a street view image of their home. Location based services should inform the user when they are being tracked. In this sense, Twitter needs improvement when it comes to alerting users about security issues when their own privacy is being compromised.
The Sites listed above are only a few of the many that actually exist. Other social sites include:
- Google Plus
- Four square
- Youtube etc.
To conclude, Social media is having a huge impact on society. However, privacy is getting harder to keep as companies are able to get your information due to flawed privacy policies. We must be aware of this and be careful with what we put out there on the cyber net.