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
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 Or about his recent flip-flop and admitted disdain for privacy concerns saying that our privacy is no longer valid in a Social Media world.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.
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.