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Protecting Your Privacy in a Social Media World

I was discussing with my Internet repairman today about this generation’s complacency with Social Media privacy. I think I hit it on the head when I said they don’t seem to appreciate what they have, perhaps because they were born into it, didn’t have to fight for their rights like other generations had to, or just forgot how hard our freedoms were won.

Now don’t get me wrong because this is not a rant about the generation gap, but rather an indictment of the Social Media world that we now live in and our privacy (or lack thereof).

A Brief History: My father’s generation literally died in the streets fighting for unions to create a middle class. Their offspring (i.e the 60s generation) protested and died for civil and human rights/freedoms. End of the history lesson…

Perhaps it just comes down to naiveness not having suffered the angst of writer’s remorse and foot-in-mouth disease coming back to haunt them. Apparently the wow factor of technology is more important than using our common sense when it comes to protecting our privacy.

Whatever the reason, over the past century the right for privacy has been an ongoing battle and thanks to technology and Social Media there has never been a more serious threat since Attila the Hun.

But today’s generation of internet users are taking our privacy for granted which is being eroded little by little, day after day.

According to Facebook:

Facebook has more than 400 million active users
50% of Facebook’s active users log on to Facebook in any given day
More than 35 million users update their status each day
More than 60 million status updates posted each day
More than 3 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
More than 3.5 million events created each month
More than 3 million active Pages on Facebook
More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
More than 20 million people become fans of Pages each day
Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans
Source

Whew, it’s a monster that just keeps growing and growing, and…

But then we read things about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, like for example he is accused of hacking into his rivals’ email. Or about his recent flip-flop and admitted disdain for privacy concerns saying that our privacy is no longer valid in a Social Media world.

Or the fact that Facebook owns your content and you can’t delete your account (you can only deactivate it but Zuckerberg can still do what he wants with your data).

Does that sound like someone you can trust your information with? What privacy? What rights?

So I have a question … why aren’t the so-called Social Media “experts” talking about this? It’s a rhetorical question and I already know the answer — because it’s negative information and hurts their bottom line. They can’t make money off Social Media if you are running scared over a little thing like privacy.

I have another question: Why don’t you care about your privacy? Or do you?

I realize it’s hard to resist the temptation on a website that makes it so easy to give away our information. But the need to be vigilant has never been as important as it is today.

Unless we stand up for our rights and say we’re not gonna take it business will continue as usual until one day when we wake up and suddenly realize those “rights” that we took for granted are gone and something you read about in the history books.

It’s true when the song says “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” … and alternatively — complacency can be a dangerous thing.

So How Do We Protect Our Privacy in a Social Media World? 

What can we do about it? Well the good news is we don’t have to throw ourselves under a bus.

Demand that the Social Media sites respect your privacy. Use the power of Social Media to your advantage and make it a viral thing … and you can start by sharing this post with your friends.

If they won’t listen — close down your account and shake the dust of your feet. Just opt-out … it’s as simple as that, and if you decide to stay be very careful with what you write because what goes on the internet generally stays on the internet.

More ideas? Have I missed something or am I completely off the mark? Speak now or forever hold your peace.

UPDATE: How the US Government is using Social Media Sites to Spy on Us

Written March 9th, 2010 by | 29 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips, Featured Tips, Privacy Tips, Security Tips, Social Media Tips

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There are 29 Comments so far to “Protecting Your Privacy in a Social Media World”

  1. Get a load of those statistics ! Convert them to dollars and hand ‘em over to me eh ! ;)

    Yep, it’s true that a facebook account cannot be deleted. Re-enter that ol’ e-mail and password and poof - all your friends, photos and streams are back !

    I removed everything on my own, detagged myself, unfriended everybody and now I live like a hermit on facebook.

    The best thing you can do bloke is create a fan page and have people join and interact with you that way instead of mutually befriending them !

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 3:59 pm said...

    @Jaffer, so you agree with my post?

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    Reply by: Jaffer at 4:07 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, Yep !

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  2. Nice article, good and inspirational. I’m waiting your next post.

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  3. With those stats and the amount of uploads I am just wondering how fast would the Internet be if those people were not uploading. When I log into Facebook I get the Impression that it is telling me what I should do on the site and not let me just do what I want to. For example you have Added a friend it asks you to add another friend where you should be contacting that friend that you have added. I see this as you have said as a way of gathering information and not providing a service

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 9:13 pm said...

    @Roezer, I have it on good authority Facebook is working for the CIA. I’m exaggerating of course but there is an aggressiveness and arrogance to Facebook that is uncomfortable to live with.

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    Reply by: Roezer at 12:59 am said...

    @BLOGBloke, Well i think the CIA are better because they will just kill you. Facebook tries to turn you into a Vegetable

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 3:40 am said...

    @Roezer, it’s a toss-up between the two for me

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  4. Social Networks are real threats. Everyone need to be careful and simply be cautious… just dont throw your private information everywhere or accept those hot girlz invitation… sorry my english may be bad :P

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 12:38 pm said...

    @The Blogger Connector .. well said

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  5. Well I kind of agree but now there are a lot of privacy options with FB! But Fb should add an option to delete the account permanently.

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  6. It amazes me how many people are caught by Interpol because they use there REAL NAME on Facebook and basically give themselves up! Great article Bloke!!

    Watch what you write, especially if it has some “teeth”, it may come back to bite you in the butt!

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 9:41 am said...

    @Teri, especially if you live in Jaco and can’t flush ;-)

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  7. to keep our privacy dont ever tell your real home address and phone number.

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  8. Yes, the protection is essential.

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  9. This is an interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Thanks for so Wonderful share, great article!

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  11. wow…great tips!! i like read news on your blog. Clean and simple template!

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  12. New Post: The Social Media Generation; Paradise Lost http://bit.ly/9aXE4U

  13. The Social Media Generation: Paradise Lost http://bit.ly/cJNTLG

  14. The Social Media Generation OR Paradise Lost? http://bit.ly/9aXE4U

  15. @Jaffer, so you agree with my post? http://bit.ly/bHkbZH

  16. @BLOGBloke, Well i think the CIA are better because they will just kill you. Facebook tries to turn you into a Vege… http://bit.ly/bHkbZH

  17. @Roezer, it's a toss-up between the two for me http://bit.ly/bHkbZH

  18. @The Blogger Connector .. well said http://bit.ly/bHkbZH

  19. Protecting Your Privacy in A Social Media World http://bit.ly/92q9LK

  20. Protecting Privacy in a Social Media World http://bit.ly/aSNJq7

  21. This is an interesting article. Thanks for sharing. http://bit.ly/dm2Mf2

  22. Protecting Privacy in a Social Media World http://t.co/NRK8DOZ via @BLOGBloke

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