If you use social networking services such as Facebook, you should know that many of the habits and small details of personal and daily life is information that is stored somewhere.
Everything we publish about family, friends, education, politics, travel habits, taste in clothes, connection with a specific type of device, is the raw material that can be analyzed by a third party to determine some future behavior of ours.
Therefore, privacy concerns and controls applied to the information shared by users must be handled with great care. Users may notice that Facebook continually updates its policies and settings related to privacy. However, sometimes the information contained in the profiles of users has not been handled in the best way by Facebook.
In recent days, the most prominent data breach scandal that has the most popular social network in the world in distress. The firm Cambridge Analytics, used the data, without direct consent of users, to influence the United States elections during 2016.
In 2014, there were 270 thousand people who were invited to take an online test by an application called “thisisyourdigitallife” developed by a researcher at the University of Cambridge. During the use of the application, users – knowingly or not – gave their consent for the collection of information about their friends, which enabled the application to access data from 50 million additional profiles.
Given this background, it is clear that users should remember that they are the product of this service. Despite this, they have the possibility to restrict the information they want to share to third parties knowing that this consent is also part of their responsibility, so some practices can be useful to help protect your data:
1. Review Frequently what are the applications that use the Facebook account to log in to a website, game or application of a third party. Since these services can continue to access personal data if we do not interrupt their connection to the profile.
2. It is advisable to check the privacy settings of the Facebook account regularly. If you are concerned about what details the applications can see the user and their Facebook friends, this is a good time to verify the privacy settings and minimize the information that is shared publicly.
4. Periodically delete the navigation data. Each browser has its own mechanism to eliminate the data generated during navigation. It is also advisable to enable and use the navigation in incognito mode.
5. Avoid using applications from unknown companies. In the case of the “thisisyourdigitallife” application, the fine print said that the information would be collected for academic, non-commercial use.
Therefore, the protection of our “online” life is also part of our responsibility as users, and that is why we should not forget at any time the huge amount of information that is shared with the outside world through social networks.