Facebook use has become so pervasive that some employers and government authorities routinely use the platform to screen individuals. Some singles on the dating scene even consider it a red flag if their prospective partner eschews Facebook. The platform is right there with us in our offices, our homes and our social lives.
However, a still-unfurling story on Facebook’s privacy practices has the potential to change how the public participates on the behemoth social media platform. Data consulting firm Cambridge Analytica disclosed that it received unauthorized access to information from more than 87 million users. A series of reports has pushed this number up from a previously estimated 50 million, as researchers revealed the firm could access both timeline posts and instant messages.
Analysts suspect that questionable privacy practices on Facebook do not start and end with Cambridge Analytica. While CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it through congressional hearings intact, Washington still may try to implement legislation controlling data practices. Time will tell. But anyone who regularly uses Facebook (or any social media platform, for that matter), already has a lesson to learn from these events.
During his congressional hearings, Mark Zuckerberg took up the defense that users “chose to share” the information that was harvested from Facebook.
This statement should remind us exactly of what we’re doing when we participate in social media. Before sharing information on a privately owned site with a vested interest in extensive personal data, we should always think about what we are comfortable revealing to the public and putting out on a format for anyone to see.
Employers who allow their staff access to Facebook and other social media platforms have strong reasons to support good cyber hygiene practices.
Aside from questionable data sharing that happens within the scope of the law, there is also the threat of social engineering attacks plaguing social networks. Thorough privacy training is an important step in making sure your employees are prepared to defend themselves and the company’s data.
But how can you and your employees get the cyber knowhow to properly keep your data clean and secure? Lunarline offers expert instruction, and we can even engage your employees on-site. Contact us today to receive more information on this cyber-hygiene program, as well as learn more about the range of services we can offer you to protect your data privacy.