It is too easy to get wrapped up in the hype of social media of how many people have viewed your snap chat story to the amount of likes you receive on an Instagram or Facebook post. Most people do not recognise the potential consequences for posting personal information, or is it simply that ignorance is bliss and your life is just an open book?
A survey conducted by Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA), reported that six-in-ten online users are participating in social networking activities and of those users, 95% are using profile based sites (e.g. Facebook & Twitter) displaying personal information, such as pictures, employment, age, location etc. Due to the large portion of users experimenting with social networking services (SNS), Brandtzaeg, Luders & Skjetn ‘explored content sharing and social ability and how that affects privacy experiences and usage behaviours amongst SNS users’. The results found SNS users often displayed completely open public profiles, without even realising (Page 86). The outcome of these reports leaves a hazy cast over any prior privacy knowledge I thought I had on social media networks and quite frankly, leaves me feeling vulnerable and exposed.
Cohen examines the multiple ways in which hackers use spyware on our personal devices via downloads, emails, shortened URL’s and direct messages. This spyware can send off personal information such as passwords & credit card details by a click of a button. You always hear about identity theft and believe it will never happen to you personally, however, are we making it extremely easy for hackers to gain our personal information by conforming to online blasé behaviours? Social media sites often utilise mobile apps and the location based services which allow users to check in to current locations or when posting photos or status updates, allows other SNS users to view your whereabouts. Most of the time, we think this information is harmless and possibly even an overshare on the users behalf, yet we should be vigilant in our online activity and comprehend the possible dangerous consequences such as malicious people tracking your every move.
The emergence of online social networks brought an era that changed the entire scenario of online information sharing. That being said, Fox & Moreland reaffirm the importance for SNS users to understand information that is posted to social media sites can be accessible well after the post is removed, particularly by the ease at which information can be saved, shared and reposted. It is imperative SNS users can effectively regulate who has access to one’s information online and constantly remain cautious concerning your own privacy and security settings when involved in online activity.