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Emerging threats to your privacy on social media – know before it’s too late

The invention of social media websites brought us many new experiences; we achieved a lot through use of social media. Without social media many of our success, wouldn’t have been possible. With social media people are now much closer to each other regardless of the distance between them. It is because now we know what our friends, relatives or family members are doing, what they like and what are they sharing. Despite of all services that social media offers, privacy on social media is one of the important as well as one of the most neglected issue among the users of social media.

Privacy on social media is not much a popular topic because very less people know the consequences of privacy issues with social media. In this article, I will inform you the threats or dangers that you may face or suffer, as a user of social media websites. This is important because you can only protect yourself if you know about the dangers that threaten your privacy on social media.

Threats to privacy on social media

Identify Theft

All social media users know that, we provided all the information about our self to social media websites that we could possibly provide just to make our social media profiles complete, more real or attractive. But what you don’t know is that, the information we provide may create a serious threat to our privacy on social media. This is because Identity thefts not only gathers basic information but they can even map your personality, emotions and relationships which can be used for whatever purpose they like. In 2009, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University published a report showing that it is possible for identity thefts to predict social security numbers using information gathered from social media websites and databases.

“To protect yourself from identity thefts never ever share all our private information to social media and it’s better to delete all the information that you already shared on social websites”

Sexual Predators

Another threat to our privacy on social media is the threat of sexual predators or pedophiles use of social media to make friendships with underage kids and then lure kids to meet with them to locations where they can kidnap or even rape kids. The cases of sexual assaults due to social media is small but it is increasing and still pose a greater threat due to ineffectiveness of age restrictions and verification mechanism on social media websites.

“To prevent your children from sexual predators on social media, educate your children to never accept a stranger friend request. And never go to locations on the invitation of stranger friend”


Stalking is also raising issue of privacy on social media. It is the act of keeping oneself aware of others whereabouts, activities and interests illegally. The things we like, share and upload provides enough information about us to many social media friends that we don’t even know. This is because majority of information we upload on social media websites are public and many of us don’t even bother to change the privacy settings of our social media accounts.

“To reduce the chances of stalking, you need to change the security settings of your social media account to the options which restrict the visibility of your information only to your friends or selected members”

Online Victimization

Victimization is perhaps one of the biggest attacks on teen’s privacy on social media. Victimization in social media includes all the acts that negative social media users perform to harass, blackmail and bully the victim using the pictures and information that the victim uploaded on his/her social media account. There are many ways that negative social media users may use to victimize other users. But no matter how people get victimized, it has to stop. There are many things you can do against victimization attack on your privacy on social media.

“If you are a kid, then you need to talk to your parents and school principal to stop the student who is victimizing you. If you are an adult and getting victimized over social media than you can even file a report against those who is victimizing you”

Social Media Privacy Agreements

Social media privacy agreements can provide you a lot of information about how your data will be used and how can protect yourself while using social media services. But the problem is that, we don’t read privacy agreements. That’s because, privacy agreements are written in a lot of details which makes it very boring and unnecessary to read.

“Whenever you want to sign up for any new social media website don’t forget to read privacy agreements. it will help you decide either you cant trust the social media service or not” 

There may be a lot of other issues related to privacy on social media, but the issues or threats we discussed above is the most common issues regarding privacy on social media. If you want to share with us more important issues regarding privacy on social media then comment below to let us know about your views and thoughts.

Zeeshan Haider
A computer engineer with deep passion for Technology, R&D and Aerospace. He has a great knack of solving problems and loves software design and development. Currently doing MS Computer Engineering from Bahria University Islamabad.

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