Social Media: Is It Really Free?
By Greg Klein
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc... is a part of our everyday lives. Many of us use it to communicate with family and friends, discover news, share pictures, videos and more.
However, when you create an account on one of these social media sites, it’s not uncommon for them to require you to provide biographical information about yourself. Information such as your name, e-mail address, phone number, and so on.
I’m no psychic but, I don’t think you want to publish this information to the entire world. If you feel this way, you’re not alone. The majority of us want to use these services while maintaining our privacy.
To protect your privacy, take some time and go onto your social media accounts and get into the privacy settings. Review each option carefully and set the setting to the appropriate level of security you are comfortable with to keep your biographical information, status updates, shared items, pictures, etc… as private or as public as you want.
Secondly, never provide account information, Social Security numbers, bank information or other sensitive financial information on a social media website.
Thirdly, when choosing friends or contacts on a social media site, think about why you use the website and be picky about whom you choose to be friends with. Decide if it is appropriate to accept the friend request or not. Remember a friend will be able to see the information you allow, while some information on your profile will be blocked from non-friends. Before adding a friend, make sure you know the person and you're comfortable letting them see your profile.
Lastly, be careful with the information you provide on social media. The social media companies keep records of all the information you provide on their service. Even if you delete a post or remove some biographical information, the social media company is going to have that information saved in their records. However, they can only find out what we share about ourselves. If you don’t want them to know, then don’t share.
We all agreed to a massive privacy terms and conditions policy when we created the account. Few of us actually read the policy but, once we share, its fair game...
...That’s the price of free accounts. For further information, I highly recommend you check out: Terms of Service by Jacob Silverman and film Terms and Conditions May Apply, both titles are available at the Library.