Face-off with Facebook

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Article By Lakshmi Vijaykumar, Senior Research Consultant – AVTAR Group

Social media networks such as Facebook, twitter, whatsapp have become the gateway to information for most of us. And if you are a stay at home mum (SAHM), you are more likely to be hooked on to one of the digital social media network to feel stay connected and networked with the outside world.  The very pervasive network is largely addictive in nature forcing us to be online in one of these networks almost 24/7.

From our child’s first smile to our first coffee date with the baby or even meeting an ex colleague while at a sabbatical, so on and so forth, our certain daily moments end up being on our FB walls. On the garb of extending ourselves to the world and being transparent, inadvertently we are providing access to a lot of our personal data to the world and the FB per se. Transparent, yes that we are. But is the network being equally transparent to us on what it is doing with all our information that gets stored in their massive servers set elsewhere.

Staying connected to the outside world while being the world to your little one is certainly a necessity in current times. But are we letting out too much about ourselves to others that we would otherwise do in the physical world?

The recent revelation by the Cambridge Analytica and the related data harvesting scam has put a question a mark on these social media networks and how our information gets misused.

Here is what you can do to secure your personal profile information while being on a social media without having to fear about the data being misused in a country that’s some lakhs of miles away from where you are.

Restrict your FB posts to general ones instead of making it personal by posting a picture of yours with your child. In fact, AVOID posting your child(ren’s) pictures whatsoever on the social media.

Technology begins to stalk you. Turn the mobile data off while you are on the move. Else, your that unwanted friend will know you are near her/his location raising eyebrows all over.

It is nice to pose your travel pictures, but again keep them non-personal.

Download an archive of your profile by clicking on settings and do a download a copy of your Facebook data. This would enable you to download all the videos, pictures, status updates and messages that you may have sent in a zipped file to your system. Once that is complete delete all the data from the Facebook settings.

The main culprit for the data misuse is a third party app such as a candy crush game or a shopping website or any other online gaming  website that prompts you to log in through either Google or Facebook.

In your Facebook profile page, go to settings, hover over the app section and revoke the permission to access your data or further go to the edit settings and remove or restrict the information you provide various apps. Remember if your data has already been accessed, no way that you can stop those apps from harvesting your data. Now is the time to rethink the game of candy crush or a baby products website that asked you to log in through Facebook. By logging on to those third party apps, you have given permission to access to your personal data. This can be turned off too by clicking on the settings, apps, websites and plug ins section. Of course, you no longer will be able to flaunt your candy crush scores with your friends.

It has become near impossible for us to go off Facebook but having said that the fear of our personal information being misused will always daunt us. You obviously don’t want to go through the horror of having your baby’s photograph being misused elsewhere. Stays connected, but stay safe..!!

Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and may not reflect those of this organisation.