The Hidden Dangers of Social Media

by Kristina Keymont and Harry Gill
Class of 2015

People all over the world use social media whether it’s for business, school, or just for fun. Not a lot of people realize how dangerous it is either; they will post whatever online not knowing who is watching. Every online move you make leaves cyber footprints that are rapidly becoming a part of material for discussion for research without you ever realizing it. A vast amount of information being collected by companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter is giving them insight into all aspects of your everyday life. Students in Mrs. Lebo’s class recently learned about the dangers of social media and date collection by watching a series of videos that every high school student, or person using social media, should view.

Do Not Track

These social networking sites have seen a boom in their popularity starting in late 2000s. Through these websites many people are giving their personal information out on the internet. Issues that arise from this include cyberstalking, location disclosure, social profiling, and third parties selling or using your information and government use of social network websites in investigations with a safeguard of subpoena. These social networks keep track of all interactions used on their sites and save them for later use. Almost half of Facebook users who left the site said it was over privacy concerns.

The ultimate goal of all of the data collection is to make money. The primary way that profit comes in off of this is advertising. When you go onto almost any website, there are third parties tracking which websites you go on to. Judging by that, and other websites you visit, they are able to target advertisements specifically to you. Most websites also use cookies, or small files placed on your web browser used to track the sites you visit, and it’s nearly impossible to prevent this. Each time you browse, third party trackers learn more and more about you, and after a while they can build a relatively accurate profile of who you are. The art of tracking is finding out who you are without giving the information up.