Social media has the tendency to make people feel illogically comfortable, “private”, and secure. The truth is, there are often security breaches, leaks, and “over-sharing” occurring through social media. On Saturday, October 11, 2014, reports from FoxNews Insider claimed that hackers have breached third party applications associated with the popular social media app, Snapchat, used by teens and adults alike.
First it was iCloud users and now hackers are threatening exposure of Snapchat users? What does this mean for the users? Like celebrities in prior months, your “private” photos may become public fodder. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the app, according to VerizonWireless.com:
Snapchat is a text-, photo- and video-messaging app that you use to send messages that will disappear one to ten seconds after your friend receives them. You determine how long the recipient(s) can view the message.
The threat from a group utilizing the site 4chan.org, includes a release of child pornography, as according to CNNMoney.com, “Snapchat is popular as a tool for sending nude images. And half of its users are teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17.” There are some serious discussions that parents need to have with their teens and pre-teens about over-sharing using social media, smartphones, and apps. Have you had these discussions with your children? Do you check in and monitor their activities?
Many people, somehow, subconsciously repress the idea that social media, by its very nature, is not private. It is meant to be social. You reach out to various people, some known and others unknown, for the purposes of building these social connections. You invite these people into your lives, homes, and into your “circles”.
In the social media world, strangers become “friends” and unknowns become “fans” and “followers”. Jack Vale Films has a series of YouTube pranks (linked) where Vale follows people based on their social media postings and shows up where they are. Of course the people are alarmed when Vale pops up on them, but they give him all of the information he needs by over-sharing on social media.
Obviously social media is fun and it keeps you connected, but there are seriously some things you do not want strange people to know about you, right? It’s understandable that you may want to send “private” pictures to your honey, but would you really want to become an instant “adult star”? With one click, you may show up on websites where people are paid for their nudity. Think about it.
Do you “check in” everywhere you go, while you’re there? Have you considered that, by doing so, you’re giving strangers a road map to your location at that very moment, and access to other parts of your life, that you may not want the world to know? If you must tell the world all of your daily happenings, try doing so after the fact without giving everyone so much access to the intimate parts of who you are.
There is more security in privacy. Some things should be kept to yourself. Think about all the ways you already give access to your life, and remember that locks, walls, and security systems exist for a reason, but the first line of defense against any breaches is you.