a woman using public Wi-Fi with VPN for Android to access social media on her phone .

Most Common Social Media Privacy Issues: A Brief Guide

With the growing use of Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and other platforms, social media has become a crucial part of everyday life for many people.

Data privacy is increasingly important as users leave digital footprints daily. However, just by using social media, you may be putting your data at risk without realizing it.

With data breaches and scandals being the highlights of news almost daily, privacy concerns are gaining pace. In fact, in 2022, data privacy concerns prompted federal and state agencies in the US to ban employees from using TikTok on government-owned devices.

Many lawmakers expressed concerns that the Chinese government may use TikTok to gain confidential information about the US government because a Chinese company owns the platform.

Similarly, when Twitter got hacked in 2022, over 200 million user email addresses got posted to the dark web. This could have given bad actors the information they needed to conduct malicious attacks.

Improving social media privacy and practicing good cyber hygiene are the keys to safe and seamless surfing. Our experts at VPNgeniX share some insights into some common social media privacy concerns and ways to improve privacy and cyber hygiene.

#1- Impersonation or Hacking

Social networks have become an easy target for cybercriminals. Hackers often compromise these accounts. When they get access to your email account, getting into social media accounts registered under it is an easy feat.

Similarly, knowing the correct answers to your selected security questions also makes it easy for them to get a gateway to your account. They can use many tactics to cause harm and steal information. Or they can hack your account to spread viruses and malware through an active personal account since it feels less suspicious.

#2 Cyber Harassment or Bullying

Pew Research report revealed that about 43% of Americans experience online harassment. Interestingly, about 76% of these cases took place through social media.

It’s always smart to be wary of everyone around you to avoid harassment, cyberbullying, and online trolling that’s constantly trending in today’s digital world.

Many people often forget their limits, which can hurt the feelings of others. In these cases, alleged harassers or bullies can gain access to your account to share your private information with the public.

person holding a phone with social media app menu on the screen

#3- Location Setting Issue

Since the vast majority of people worldwide tend to access social media apps through smartphones, we forget the phone stores our location regularly, with some apps asking for access to your location. Even if no permission is asked, there are certain instances when your location can be exposed.

Even when the location settings are turned off to prevent tracking, there are many times devices expose your location. Everyone’s whereabouts can be tracked through the device’s location and many other ways.

Locations can also be tracked for those using cellphone towers and public Wi-Fi. Always keep the GPS turned off and avoid browsing with a quality VPN if you want to avoid being tracked.

#4- Data Collection

It’s not uncommon for us to stumble upon a very accurate advert as if it was just made for us! It’s probably because social media apps track your activities, which is also a matter of privacy breach.

Social media apps frequently monitor your interests, activities, dislikes, and likes to create a tailored experience for users. While this may sound harmless, someone having access to your browsing activities indicates online surfing isn’t private.

So whatever you’re doing on social media, the information is gathered and used by marketers to build business models, serve ads, and more. The data includes sensitive information which can paint a holistic picture of who you are and can be a gold mine for social media platforms.

Improving Social Media Privacy to Prevent Breaches

Enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication and avoid putting up everything online! Be smart about what you share and how much you share, and always keep in mind the possibility of the shared information being used against you. Excess information leads to stalking and hacking.

Some preventive measures can also help prevent hackers, harassers, and stalkers from their illegitimate actions, such as avoiding the use of public networks to access social media apps and disabling geo-location.

If you still plan on using public Wi-Fi, use it responsibly by investing in a VPN of your choice. Feel free to ask experts at VPNgeniX questions or seek advice regarding the best VPN and antivirus services.

With a vast affiliate network of digital security solutions providers, our adept professionals can help strengthen your online defenses when it comes to social media privacy or online surfing in general.

Connect with the proficient team to get more information about the power-packed VPNs and antivirus services that can proactively prevent government agencies, ISPs, data brokers, and other third parties from prying on your activities.