How private is social media?

How private is social media

Not very. Once you post anything online, you have lost control of it. Whether it is your location, health issues you may be having, or other details of your private life, once you post, you can’t get it back. And once the information is out there, it can be used by anyone who sees it. Sharing too much can have negative impacts on your personal and professional life. The details you share can also impact the lives of your family and friends. 

Social media can be a great place to connect with people and learn new things. But how private is social media and how do you balance the good and the bad? The latest SANS Institute newsletter shares the privacy concerns you should keep in mind when using social media. Here are a few of the big ones:

  • Privacy Settings: You should frequently review privacy settings for all your social media accounts. But remember, even if you have secured your settings for who can view your posts, the information you post on social media is still not entirely private because it’s being collected by the platform, mined, and stored possibly forever.
  • Family Sharing: Funny photos and videos make us laugh but posting silly things about family and friends can lead to bullying. This is especially true for people who are younger. And the same goes for sharing health and behavior problems about family members and friends.
  • Location Services: People love to check-in at restaurants, resorts, and more, to share where they are and the fun things they are doing with their family and friends. But this check-in data can be added to other personal data to create a profile of your life and habits. These profiles can then lead to stalking and other harassing events.
  • Unintentional Disclosure: The information you post may reveal your personal history and thus also reveal the answers to your online security questions.

For all the privacy concerns to be mindful of check out this month’s SANS Institute newsletter.

And for more cybersecurity tips, check out our other SANS blog posts.

Nathan Boxx, Bradley Newman, Jason Seltzer

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