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Protecting Your Privacy on Social Media: Key to Staying Safe

Protecting Your Privacy on Social Media: Key to Staying Safe

Every time someone opens a social media account, they must supply personal information, such as their name, birthdate, address, and hobbies. Using social media is not free, and you pay with your information.  Privacy is lost to those on social media, no matter what you have for your privacy settings.  With social media companies engaged in cancel culture, censorship, shadow banning, government control and collusion, silencing of dissenting opinions and facts, and manipulation of elections, targeting of conservatives and those not agreeing with the far left, there is serious concern in the social media world.  If you decide to use social media, protecting your privacy to what extent it is possible is critical for your safety while in this online world.

Additionally, businesses obtain and monitor information on how, when, and where users interact with their platforms. As more information is posted online, there is a greater risk of hackers, companies, and malicious intruders mining your data in ways that compromise personal privacy. In some cases, your data is actually stolen and used to scam other people online.

The less information you post on social media, and the less you use social media, the safer you are from hackers, harassment, online scams and fraud, and malicious targeting by individuals, corporations and government.  What you post online can and will be used against you.

While sharing details of our everyday lives online has become common for many, private investigators in the Philippines caution that doing so also carries a number of grave privacy hazards that can encourage criminal activity and lead you to being a victim.

The main threats you are exposed to

Blackmailing is a common threat in the Philippines. By developing a personal connection with the victim and threatening embarrassment, scammers capture sexual, compromising, or embarrassing videos, images, or information. Once they have material to blackmail their victims, they threaten to release the pictures or data unless they are paid off. Often, the online criminals look for religious people or high-ranking executives as their target, as their reputation is important.

Romance fraud is another common risk for social media users. Under the pretext of romantic interest, other frauds are carried out online via social media or dating services. Romance scammers in the Philippines  spend months winning people over and even agree to meet in person. It is easy to find prey in social media as people tend to over share their lives and interests, and once scammers find the people that fit the perfect target, they will use the information that has been shared in social networks to manipulate their victims. It is not a coincidence if the person you met on Instagram, Facebook or Tik Tok likes the same things you do, it usually responds to someone who has studied you well enough to use this data in their favor.

Last but not least is identity theft. The majority of identity theft victims are unaware of how a criminal got their information. Data breaches are undoubtedly a part of the problem, but most of the times people freely give out their personal data to strangers online.

How to protect your privacy in social media

If you decide to continue using social media, keep your personal information safe. Lock down your social media privacy settings and refuse engagement requests from people you don’t know. People understand why being cautious is important when they understand the risks. Never discuss personal information online, including names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers, banking details, employer, and others. The information will be used by criminals to carry out transactions in your name or to manipulate you in one way or another.

You do not have to learn from a bad experience; instead, you can take precautions based on the advice of experienced professionals and avoid becoming a victim yourself. Check and understand your privacy settings, share as little personal information as possible on social media, and never accept invitations or friend requests from strangers. If you meet a Filipina online who you like, hire a professional background check in the Philippines to minimize your risk.

C. Wright

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