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In the digital age that we live in, social media has become an integral part of our lives, connecting us with friends, family, and a wider community. From sharing personal experiences to communicating with friends and family, conducting business, and disseminating news and information, it offers a platform for individuals to express themselves and engage with others. However, the extraordinary growth of social media has given platforms massive access into the lives of its users. Social networking companies harvest sensitive data about individuals’ activities, interests, personal characteristics, political views, purchasing habits, and online behaviours. It is crucial to recognize the significance of social privacy. Protecting our personal information on social media is essential to safeguard our identities and prevent potential risks.



Privacy issues on social media refer to concerns and challenges related to the protection of personal information and the right to privacy within the context of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. They are challenges related to protecting personal and sensitive data from unauthorized access, manipulation, and misuse.A privacy incident is the unauthorized collection, use, access, retention or disclosure of personal or otherwise sensitive information.

Identity Theft Cybercriminals can exploit shared personal information to impersonate individuals, leading to identity theft and financial fraud.Cyberbullying and Harassment Oversharing personal details can make individuals vulnerable to cyberbullying and harassment from strangers or acquaintances. Targeted Advertising The data shared on social media can be used to create targeted advertisements, potentially influencing users' choices and behaviors. Data Breaches Social media platforms are not immune to data breaches, and once personal information is compromised, it can be used for malicious purposes. Location Tracking Some social media platforms use location data, which can jeopardize user safety and privacy. Employer and Educational Consequences Inappropriate or unprofessional content shared on social media may have negative implications for employment or academic opportunities.


Data mining for identity theft

Malware and viruses

Data breaches

Privacy setting loopholes

Harassment and cyberbullying

Third-party data sharing

Scammers use data mining for identity theft. They do not need much data for that. Actually, publicly available information on social media can help them successfully target victims. Scammers can get email addresses, usernames, phone numbers, and physical addresses quite easily. With this data, they can send phishing scams or gather more information like leaked passwords or credit card numbers.

If a company is hacked, customers’ social media data is one of the first data to be stolen. People provide a lot of personal information on social media which could be used for malicious purposes. As in the case of data mining, scammers could use this information for phishing scams or could try to gather more.

Defrauders can send threatening messages, perform harassment, or cause emotional trouble even without getting into users’ social media accounts. Publicly visible inappropriate comments on social media accounts are one of the forms of harassment. Cyberbullying includes sharing negative or harmful content about persons on social media platforms.Doxxing is a form of cyberbullying and involves sharing harmful content about persons like revealing a person's address, phone number, or personal photos to cause harm, embarrassment, or humiliation. They also encourage others to harass the person online.

Malware and viruses can spread through social media platforms. They can steal sensitive data, infect, or slow down users’ computers. Cybercriminals can take over the social media account of a user and spread malware to the affected account of the user and all the user's friends.

Social media accounts often are less private than users think. For example, if you share something with a friend and they commented on it, the friends of your friend can also see the information you shared. Your friend could also repost the information you shared on social media, and it will also become available a completely different people. Even closed groups are not completely private since group members could repost your content, postings can be searchable, etc.

Many social media platforms are in partnership with third-party services and share user data with them. While it allows the integration of different services, it also creates significant privacy risks. Users often grant permission to share or sell their data to these third parties even without knowing it. When signing the Terms of Services agreement or accepting cookies, read carefully what you are signing for


"The most prevalent forms of cyber crime"Sources: Statista Market Insights, National Cyber security Organisations, FBI, IMF




  • Review and Adjust Privacy Settings
  • Be Mindful of Oversharing
  • Limit Public Sharing
  • Utilize Two-Factor Authentication
  • Beware of Phishing Attempts
  • Monitor App Permissions
  • Limit Location Sharing
  • Educate Yourself on Privacy Policies
  • Regularly Review Your Digital Footprint

Use strong passwords

Review and adjust privacy settings

Regularly update passwords

Don't click on suspicious links

Regularly review your digital footprint

Limit location sharing

Be mindful of oversharing

Limit public sharing

Utilize two-factor authentication

Beware of phishing attempts

Monitor app permissions

Educate yourself on privacy policies

Don't use the same passwords across multiple social media platforms or websites. You can use a password manager to store your sign-on credentials.

Social media platforms offer privacy settings that allow users to control who can see their posts and personal information. Regularly review and adjust these settings to limit the visibility of your content to only trusted individuals.

Change your social media passwords regularly and ensure they are strong, unique, and not easily guessable. Avoid using the same password across multiple platforms.

Even if the link appears to be from a friend, avoid clicking on links unless it's from a trusted source.

Periodically search for your name on search engines to see what information is publicly available. If you find any content that compromises your privacy, take steps to have it removed.

You can disable location sharing on social media platforms unless you need to. This prevents others from tracking your movements and helps protect your privacy.

Exercise caution when sharing personal information, such as your home address, phone number, or financial details. Avoid sharing sensitive information that could be exploited by cybercriminals.

Consider sharing sensitive content only with a restricted group of friends or in private messages. Restricting public sharing reduces the risk of your information falling into the wrong hands.

Enable two-factor authentication on your social media accounts to add an extra layer of security. This ensures that even if someone gains access to your password, they will need an additional verification step to log in.

Be cautious of suspicious links or messages, especially those requesting personal information. Phishing attempts can lead to data breaches or identity theft.

Review and manage the permissions granted to apps connected to your social media accounts. Remove any unnecessary permissions that could access your data without legitimate reasons.

Familiarize yourself with the privacy policies of the social media platforms you use. Understand how your data is collected, stored, and used, and make informed decisions about the platforms you choose to engage with.


Take charge of your data privacy today! Embrace the support of data privacy help to protect your digital footprint. Stay informed about privacy best practices, optimize your social media settings, and employ strong security measures. Empower yourself with knowledge and proactive steps to ensure a safer and more responsible online experience. Remember, safeguarding your data privacy is a shared responsibility. By taking action now, you can enjoy the benefits of social media while preserving your privacy and security in the digital age. Your data, your privacy!


Pete Cashmore




Pete Cashmore