Social media needs to be managed well. It is one of the most effective ways to promote a product and create a good impression on people. It can be a great way to get in touch with old friends, or just keep an eye on what your family tree is up to. If the social media platforms are not managed wisely, they can ruin your life.
There is an increasing concern over digital, personal and health wellbeing due to over-usage of social media and these platforms have created a chaos for users. Social media by definition has a very invasive approach towards privacy and there’s no way to completely block people. While nothing on the internet can be permanently erased, it’s wise to keep your social media accounts ‘private’ unless you’re a celebrity or business owner or political party member or social activist.
In simple words, when likes are public, people care too much about them and view it as a measure of success. There should be sincerity with governments, people and social media platform providers to maintain a balance between internet ethics and digital wellbeing amongst all. One such example could be Instagram attempting to hide likes in over six countries including Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand, which is the beginning of a new chapter in social media.
Dangers of oversharing on social media:
All users are sharing their personal information on social platforms and they keep track of all interactions used on their sites and save them for later use i.e. every behavioural aspect of the individual is being monitored, documented and harvested for probable commercial use.
Companies may steal your private posts, actions, conversations and photos and then make them public without consent or context and without compassion.
Oversharing of information on social media leads to issues like cyber-stalking, live location disclosure, social profiling, phishing, identity theft, blackmailing, third party personal information disclosure and government using these platforms in investigations even without a search warrant.
Tips to keep personal information private:
• Never use ‘about me’ feature
• Know the people you make friends with
• Create yourself an ‘off-limits’ list
• Always log out after use
• Create strong, private passwords
• Use two-factor authentication to log in
• Block abusive people
• Instagram- If you want to keep your Instagram fully private, go to settings, ‘Account’ and click on ‘Private Account’.
• Twitter- The popular social media site has privacy settings under ‘Settings and Privacy’. Once there, click on the ‘Privacy and Safety’ tab. It is recommended that you use the feature to ‘Protect’ and ‘Unprotect’ tweets.
• Snapchat- You can be private by going to ‘Settings’, then ‘Manage Who Can Contact Me’ and then choosing the setting that allows your friends to view your profile. To go entirely private, navigate to ‘Manage Who Can View My Story’ and set it to friends only.
• Facebook- Go to the ‘Privacy’ tab, and toggle all settings that keep people from seeing your information, contacting you, seeing your shares, and reposts. Also, it’s important to periodically see the ‘Activity Log’ and ‘Limit Past Posts’. It’s all-important nowadays to set the ‘Profile’ setting and ‘Photo’ settings properly
• YouTube- You can control privacy settings on YouTube (Playlists and subscriptions) by navigating to https://www.youtube.com/account_privacy. It’s highly recommended to enable options ‘Clear All Watch History’ and ‘Pause Watch History’
• LinkedIn- This social networking platform has ‘Privacy’ settings under Me> ‘Settings and Privacy’. This gives you the ability to control how others see your profile and network information, how others see your LinkedIn activity, how LinkedIn uses your data, job seeking preferences, and blocking and hiding
We need to continue researching and discussing nuances and functions of communication, privacy and intimacy in order to create better norms, practices and protection that enhance the benefits of social media and minimise risks. At the moment, going private is the best way for a longer run on social media platforms. Apart from using proper tools/VPN to maintain privacy while browsing, control personal information you share online and make sure you don’t compromise on your privacy.
Stay Tuned to Cyber Talk Column for more about Internet Ethics and Digital Wellness brought to you by Anil Rachamalla, End Now Foundation, www.endnowfoundation.org
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