Do you trust social media?

This guest post is written by Christopher Roberts for the Guest Blogging Competition. If you are interested to participate and win $70 cash and some cool products, just head over to the contest page.

 

Privacy and social media are two things that don’t seem to go together very well. For a long time now, consumers, governments and social media sites have done battle over the data people post on social networks.

Almost all of us use social media sites like Twitter, Google + and Facebook, but the sad thing is, less that 35% of consumers actually trust the social networks they use. Only 2% of people completely trust online companies with their data, which is a shocking figure, in this day and age, when more and more of us, are storing more and more of our data, online.

But why don’t we trust the internet? Well some critics believe that it is because around half of us have been ‘burned’ by the net. This basically means have had a bad experience, in which private data has been exposed.

social media security

Image: jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This could be because so many of us don’t know how the sites we use work, and how they use our data. A recent article on Technology Bloggers highlighted these issues; it was about the changes in Google’s privacy policy, and it was surprising how many people didn’t even know about, or take an interest in the changes.

Did you know for example, that of Facebook’s users, almost 70% don’t understand their privacy policy? That means that of their active users around 315 million don’t understand what they are letting themselves in for.

Because of this, fewer people believe that they have the ability to protect themselves when using social media. When asked if they felt they could protect their personal data when online, only 16% of users thought they could.

For years now, consumers have been concerned about social media, and the safety of their data online, and for years very little has been done to alleviate these concerns. Better transparency and easier to control privacy settings are what is needed to address these concerns, but that often means lower profits for online corporations, as more people are likely to be dissatisfied, opt out, and kick up a fuss, when they find out what sites are really doing with their data.

What I think social networks need to be aware of, is that over half of their users would be willing to share more of their sensitive data with them, if they had more control over who sees what they share.

What’s your opinion on social media and privacy? Do you trust social networks, and do you feel improvements need to be made?

If you enjoyed my article, please Tweet it and/or ‘Like’ it, Digg it, +1 it etc. Don’t forget to leave your comment below, and thank you for reading my article :-)

 

About the Author: Christopher Roberts loves blogging, and is part of the community blog Technology Bloggers – a project involving hundreds of people, aimed at creating a fantastic blog about everything in the tech field; from business and science to computing and the internet :-)

 

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Comments

  1. Peter Lee
    Twitter:
    says:

    Most people joined social media because their friends are also joining until most of them forgot about the importance of protecting their privacy. I personally don’t share much and befriend easily with strangers over social media. Unless things improved drastically, I don’t see myself trusting social networks that much. Nice post Christopher :)
    Peter Lee recently posted..Is Hacking an Inside Job?My Profile

  2. Jim says:

    Lv this blog! Just found your post in Google chris, best of luck with the competition!

    Ppl put too much on Facebook and the internet these days, and they don’t get that it could be dangerous.

    C U all around.
    Jimmy

    • Thanks for the comment Jim, I would agree with you that many people often put too much on Facebook and other social media channels, it leaves you open to attack!

      Thanks again Jim :-)
      Christopher – notice the ‘topher’ on the end ;-)

    • Alan says:

      Hey Jimmy, I am new here too, found this post in Google, like you and loving this blog to :-)

      ’tis a good article, most people don’t understand how dangerous soccial media is! I am a microblogger personally, so Twitter and WP are my thing XD

      Keep up the good work Alan and christopher
      P.S is the competition open to everyone, or is it by invitation only??

      • Alan Tay says:

        It is open to everyone. I had amended the deadline to get more participants. You can refer to the URL below for more information.
        http://www.itscolumn.com/2012/03/guest-blogging-contest-details/

        • Alan says:

          Awesome Alan!!!

          I really like this article, but obviously don’t want to go into competition with Christopher!
          I will think about it…

          Ta ;-)

          • Hi Alan, thanks for the great feedback :-)
            - that is Alan Knightly (got your sir name from your website) not Alan Tay

            I wouldn’t mind if you entered the competition too, obviously you would be competition, but I am a good sport, so best of luck :-) You never know, me and you could both be winners with first and second place ;-) That would be good :-)

            Anyway, thanks again, welcome to Alan’s fantastic blog!
            Christopher – Guest Writer

          • Alan says:

            Thanks for understanding man, I am going 2 enter ASAP, just got to get my topic!

            Any ideas 4 me….?

          • That’s cool Alan, I am not sure to tell you what to write about, as I don’t know what you have knowledge on, my advice is do something that fits Alan’s blog’s niche, and you know a lot about.

            Good luck :-)
            Christopher

        • Hi Alan, how can I know how I am doing?
          How many Tweets, Likes, +1′s etc do I have?

          Thanks mate :-)
          Christopher

  3. Richie says:

    Hey Christopher, great article. I haev had personal experience of being burned. I didn’t realize that Facebook had my profile set to public, and when my boss saw a photo of me on a night out, he wasn’t happy. Like you say, too many people don’t know how to keep themselves safe. Keep up the good work, Richie.

  4. Hi Christopher
    I had no issues with privacy until Facebook started making all the changes and I would mysteriously end upon mailing lists that I’m positive I didn’t sign up for. But for the most part, I’m happy with my online experience.

    I really like the option to be able to subscribe to people; especially those who I would love to follow, but they’ve maxed out on friends. When Facebook makes a chance, I patiently await the blog posts explaining what’s new and adjust accordingly.

    I don’t want to build a wall around myself, because I am my brand, but I am working on setting my own boundaries by creating “work hours” for my blogging.

    Kimberly

    • I think Facebook changes to its privacy, are often very deceiving Kimberly, which is how many users (including you) seem to be getting burned. They need to be more clear and transparent, and have users ‘opt-out’ as default.

      It is good to know that you now keep up to date with the changes via the blogosphere, we all need to keep an eye on Facebook…

      Thanks for reading my article :-)
      Christopher – Admin Team

  5. Tracy96 says:

    As you see, there are hundred of social networking websites available on the net. Facebook and Twitter are popular and best website for social networking. Almost everyone has facebook account. We can use social networking for our business also.

  6. Sarah Edgar says:

    Hi, really great article here, very important issues raised. I will be voting for you in the guest post!

    Best of luck I hope you win for such a great article.

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