Social Media companies or companies that own Social Media Platforms, have made fortunes off of the personal information of their users through complex terms of service agreements.
After the initial sign up and providing of that personal information, they continue to gather data from our Instant Messages, Comments or Posts. Using their platforms to log into other platforms and give them even more access to your information.
Even recently, there was reports of just having an app installed had them accessing all other data on your, and bypassing permissions you set in your phone for that app. However, this was primarily a failure of companies like Google and Apple who are the gatekeepers for the app stores and the apps that are approved there. However, it raises significant questions about the company who chooses to attempt to lie to the gatekeepers, bypass the security and permissions that you set on your phone.
So what now?
How do I know what services to use? How do I know how to use them? – We don’t want to miss out on trends, memes or our friends’ updates. Privacy and FOMO are at odds in the digital age.
- Step 1: Sign up and use the services, but limit or even falsify the personal information. Only input the required information.
- Step 2 – Mobile Apps:
- On Android, you have the option to approve or deny App’s access to your phones data. This is gradually getting more granular the more Android develops. You can control access to your contact, files, background services,
- On iOS, recent versions have added granular permission controls under Settings. You can limit their access to your location, an whether the app runs in the background – which both helps with privacy, and phone and battery performance.
- Step 3: If you do want to share personal information, especially with your friends over social media, choose what platform to use for what content.
- Having the group chat on Signal, sharing more personal images and information you wouldn’t want the public to know.
- Social Media posts for family can be important, and that may limit your choices on where to post, but keeping the limited information both shared with companies and the network are important – if you can’t limit it with the company running the app, then at least limit who on that site can see it.