Is Anything Truly Private Now?

Facebook has been catching a lot of heat over the last few weeks due to issues with privacy. Reports have been widespread about a company taking information from users Facebook accounts, and using it to target the users with ads. Which, is basically what all of these social media platforms do already. Many are even calling for users to #DeleteFacebook in light of these allegations.

While it’s fine if you want to delete your Facebook account, but be ready to be out of the social media game altogether, because they all are doing it. True privacy has become a myth, and you are naive if you think that anything you post on a social media platform will remain private.

When you upload an image to Facebook, you have the ability to lock down the privacy settings so people are unable to see your image. However, since you uploaded the picture to a service that you do not own, you no longer have the rights to complain about the privacy of that image. Someone else could screenshot the image, or Facebook can use the image for any purpose (it says so in the terms and conditions you agreed to when you set up your account).

It isn’t just about the content you upload to these social media platforms though. Who you are friends with, the pages and brands you like, and information you have added about yourself are all available for Facebook to glean that data and use it for their own purposes.

One huge privacy problem, that many people fall for, are those personality quizzes or other types of third-party platforms that you allow access to your profile. Do you really need to know which celebrity you look like, or which of your friends would have your back? Any time you give the ok for one of those websites or quizzes to access your profile you are giving up a little bit more of your privacy.

To find out what apps and websites already have access to your Facebook profile, and remove it, you need to click on the down arrow at the top right of your Facebook page. This is best done on a computer and not a mobile device. When the menu drops down select “Settings”. When your Facebook settings appear, click on the word “Apps” that appears on the left-hand side. What will appear now is all of the applications you have ever allowed access to your Facebook account. You may be seriously surprised at how many apps there are. That sweepstakes you entered 5 years ago… yep, it’s here. The to-do list application you thought would work for you, but didn’t end up working… yep, it’s here. As you move your mouse over the various applications you can click the “x” that appears and remove the application’s access to your account.

Social media platforms can’t use information that you don’t add to their platforms. So you need to ask yourself if it is worth it for you to add or not. Do you care if the entire world knows that you like Nike? The best way to keep an image that you have taken private, is to keep it private. As soon as you share the image, there is no more privacy.

In general, these days, privacy is a myth. Many homes and businesses have cameras rolling at all times. Cell phones are picking up conversations you have on a daily basis. Cell phone cameras are rolling when you are out in public. There are basically eyes and ears everywhere. So, go ahead and delete Facebook if you have been swayed by the press lately, but be prepared to live off the grid if you truly want privacy.