Facebook privacy reviewed for safety

Jameson Morgan, Reporter

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For some time now people have been worried about how to consume data safely. Facebook especially has been in the nation’s conscience with all the congressional hearings and the public outcry over Russian meddling in the 2016 election.        

  Looking into the issue of data safety and abuse of privacy, public opinion has swayed in favor or regulating social media companies, as well as of practices tomorrow. These are the basic foundations of internet interaction and what collectively people have deemed acceptable. These shape our use of social media, what data we give up, and the privacy we retain.

   Internet basic #1: The internet and social media websites can only publish the information that we decide to first publish on them.

  Mrs. Jennifer Gipp, teacher of classes like AP Computer Science Said,“If it’s information that you don’t want others to see, don’t post it. These are all the skills you learned in Computer Skills.”   

 If you don’t give them access to the information, they cannot give that information to others. Sometimes this means that you might have to compromise convenience for safety, but it is a decision which an individual might have to make. This is even when companies ask for your personal information to create your profile. Sometimes you might have to relinquish this information without wanting too, but you always have control what information you give about yourself.

Internet basic#2: You never know who the people you come into contact truly are. They could be pretending to be someone else. Even if you know that individual personally, someone could be impersonating them or their account could be hacked. That is why it is especially important to double check before your friend sends something suspicious because then you are vulnerable to click on malware or be apart of a phishing scam.

  “It is always important to have your accounts on private, and be careful in screening your friend’s accounts,” said Mrs. Gipp.

Internet basic#3: Every time you access something online, you consent to their terms and their use of information. Therefore, you should be very careful because that means you could very well be taken advantage of by a bad site or one where your data is vulnerable. The exchange for information on sites like Facebook is not apparent, even despite recent attempts to clarify their safety and privacy agreements through an updated policy.

      Recently, policies of Facebook and breaches of their terms of the agreement have come under fire. Specifically, people were concerned with how sources such as Cambridge Analytica were approved to view data on Facebook This was in light of the congressional hearings, in which congressional members asked Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberg about their responsibility to be a morally reputable source of news. Some Senators came to the conclusion that it was Facebook’s responsibility to ensure the safety of its users, but users largely disagreed. This can be seen in the move to update the privacy policy, an assertive role in their own safety. Basic education can save ensure individuals safety online. One area of information that people are particularly interested in is cookies.

  Internet basic #4: Cookies are beneficial and are not employed to stalk you. According to Wikipedia, the definition of cookies is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the computer by the browser while the user is browsing. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (such as items added in the shopping cart in an online store) or to record the user’s browsing activity   An individual does not need to worry about these bits of information which are stored, because they are done for your convenience and make for better browsing information.

“Cookies allow for a more streamlined browsing experience because if I was looking for cat food on Amazon, and then in my Facebook feed I see an ad for cat food, that would be beneficial for me, said Mrs. Gipp.

Additionally, all it is possible to learn about all their privacy policy. Facebook’s can be found at https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms. It was updated in 2018 and can be found by googling Facebook user policy.

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