Why People are Ditching Social Media

Caleb Townsend
Staff Writer   United States Cybersecurity Magazine

The Pew Research Center has released a new report that tracks the relationship people have currently with social media. It has been six months since Facebook revealed that they were allowing user’s information to be harvested by Cambridge Analytica. According to the report released by Pew Research Center, the debacle has turned a lot of people away from social media.

People are turning away from social media.

An astounding 42 percent of users above the age of 18 have taken a step back from Facebook. These social media breaks have become more common in the past few years. This is because people are becoming privy to the way that apps and websites store our data. Additionally, a whopping 26 percent of users have taken to fully removing the Facebook app from their cellphone.

The Dangers of Social  Media.

These new findings show a wider trend of people becoming aware that there are very harmful aspects of social media. In addition to mind numbing algorithms, time consuming social feedback loops, and the ever ubiquitous “fake news”,  there are a wide host of security and privacy issues that social media brings. For example, Third-Party-Apps prey on young kids and non tech savvy individuals to extort their data. Another example is the slew of fake profiles and bots that attempt to scam users.

Privacy Settings

In efforts to secure their information, 54 percent of Facebook users say they have adjusted their privacy settings to have less of a public presence on Facebook. As social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook change their settings and update their policies, privacy features are constantly changing. It is important to keep in mind that privacy adjustments are not the exclusive ticket to a safe social media experience. There is virtually no way to guarantee that you will remain totally private, as Facebook itself will still have access to all of our data. But one necessary step to privacy is understand who can see your accounts.

Tips to stay safe on social media 

  • Make your statuses “friends only” unless you really want something to gain exposure.
  • Be knowledgeable on who can see your photos.
  • Under the tab “Applications and Websites”, manage whether your friends can share your information with their specific friend groups.
  • Assess profiles that add you randomly. Do they have many friends? Are their accounts new? Do they only have one picture up? If so, they could potentially be a bot.
  • If you are on Twitter, consider not using your real name.
  • Be aware that your social media accounts  (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, ect) might be linked to each other, often creating a convenient digital map for hackers to follow.
  • Limit the use of applications.
  • NEVER do a Instagram or Facebook “check in” around your home.

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