Social networking has become very deeply ingrained in today's society. Many people utilize social network sites as one of their primary forms of communication. On average, people can spend almost two and a half hours per day using their social network accounts. It can sometimes be addictive, and people may find it challenging to avoid logging in. Social networking is designed to capture its user's attention and keep it. When people receive notifications, this can cause pleasure hormones to be released into the brain, which can cause people to keep coming back for more. With society's growing dependence on social networking and advances in information technology comes growing privacy concerns. After all, people are posting a lot of sensitive information on their accounts, and they are having a lot of personal conversations. So, what happens with this data, and how is social networking changing data privacy?
As information technology changes, more people are becoming anxious about how their data is used. However, this is not always enough for people to delete their accounts. They worry about security, but sometimes people focus more on the benefits of social networking, such as being able to keep in touch with friends and family members and contacting old acquaintances. However, more people should begin carefully weighing the pros and cons. Social networking sites can potentially store information like photos, messages, full names, addresses, phone numbers, hobbies, relationship statuses, birthdays, and application data. Various privacy issues may arise, such as cyber-stalking, profiling, location disclosure, hacking, and government abuse of information.
Additionally, some sites sell user data to third parties and advertisers. This means that a user's browser history can be used to allow companies to create targeted advertisements. Data can also be collected and used to sway user opinions. For example, these methods have been used in the past to impact voter decisions.
Potential Negative Effects
As previously stated, there may be numerous negative effects associated with privacy concerns on social networking sites. For example, users may become vulnerable to identity theft, sexual crimes, stalking, harassment and bullying, surveillance, diminished employment opportunities, and numerous other consequences. Identity theft is a huge concern for users because information can be used to assist thieves. They can access photos, birthdays, full names, email addresses, and phone numbers for identification purposes. Sexual crimes are another concern because people can create false identities and find out a lot of personal information by looking through user profiles. Having such a vast amount of personal information online can also make it possible for locations to be easily discovered, which contributes to increased instances of stalking, harassment, and bullying. Surveillance is a concern because social media sites and third parties can track online data and even study it. Lastly, users may experience diminished employment opportunities due to their social media accounts. Potential employers often look through the applicant's accounts without their knowledge. Employers may look for factors, such as drug and alcohol abuse and inappropriate photos, language, and behaviors.
Additionally, employers may continue to monitor social network accounts even after the employee is hired. They may check accounts to see if users post negative information about the company and other employees. Often, employees can even be fired due to the posts that they make online. Many people view this as abuse of their privacy.
The Internet of Things
The internet of things is also a growing concern when it comes to data security. Essentially, the internet of things can be defined as various physical devices connected to the internet that share and collect data. More and more products are now incorporating the internet into their design. For example, internet connections can be found in smart televisions, speakers, streetlights, traffic lights, toys, doorbell cameras, smart locks, wearable devices, smart meters, air quality monitors, light switches, smoke alarms, thermostats, lighting systems, remotes, outlets, alarm systems, air conditioners, and refrigerators. While all of the advancements being made in information technology can have their benefits, they can also increase issues related to data privacy. Some of these devices even allow you to connect to social networks, which is good news for the platforms because they want users to be connected as much as possible.
However, these products can lead to problems when it comes to data security. They are able to collect and transmit data to third party companies. All of your activities can be tracked, studied, and sold to advertisers. This data can help to boost customer experiences, but that definitely comes at a price. The devices are also susceptible to hacking. Hackers could potentially break into a user's phone, which acts as a remote for various smart devices, and they could theoretically control any products connected to the internet. It is even possible that cars could get hacked in the future since they are connected to an internet network. Medical devices could potentially be hacked as well. Devices, such as defibrillators and insulin pumps could be tampered with, which could lead to serious injury or death. Lastly, various types of cameras are susceptible to attacks, which can lead to users being under surveillance and have their audio conversations recorded without their knowledge.
Overall, social networking has many positive attributes. It can allow people to forge and maintain meaningful social connections. It is an excellent tool for introverted people that can allow them to express themselves and their creativity more easily. It is definitely an outlet for many people. In addition to the social benefits, it can help small companies to grow and build brand awareness. It can help people to boost their fundraising endeavors for worthy causes since some platforms allow users to make donations. While social networking has made numerous positive contributions to our society, there are also drawbacks that should be carefully considered. People should be adequately educated so that they are able to make informed decisions. As people become more dependent on social networking, they are also giving companies and other users access to their private information. While changing privacy settings can be helpful, it may not always be enough.