Social Media Impacting Data Security

So you have a Facebook fan page, Twitter profile or you are an influencer with numerous followers on Instagram. You must be excited and wondering what to post and how to keep your fans and followers exited in the conversation with you. There is no doubt that social media has made the world a more connected place, but it also has created unprecedented access to people’s personal information.

Social media gets a good rap and may even be an integral part of your companies marketing process. It has opened a new world of opportunities for organizations to connect, communicate and share information about particular subjects. But it can be an awful thing when scammers and hackers get involved.

We live in a world of communication and giving up social media is never a reasonable option. But have you ever wondered how your data is being used? How do these dominating social sites make money to support millions of users around the globe? As per Smart Insights, there are around 3.2 Billion social media users and with numbers increasing by 13% every year. As you can imagine, there is a lot of personal data out there which gets frequently updated by members across the globe.

The sad part is that it’s become painfully apparent as customer’s data is now a new liquid gold to researchers, businesses, advertisers and other marketing campaigns. It’s data that social media sites are using to make money.

Here in this article let’s discuss the ways through which social media is impacting the data security or information security:

Privacy breach:

Facebook, known as the world’s number 1 social media website and one of the most visited websites on the planet boasts over 1.71 Billion active monthly users. It’s important to remember that social networking sites are owned by private businesses, and they use it to make money by selling it.

The latest controversy that Facebook faced by giving out data of over 50 Million users to Cambridge Analytica has started raising new questions. Facebook is said to be fined £500,000 by UK’s privacy watchdog, as per EU’s Data protection act. Had it happened after the GDPR, the fine would have been nearer to £2 billion.

As per the terms and conditions of Facebook or any other social site, it gathers and stores all kinds of user’s data including your photos, where you live, age group, gender, which brands you like apart from their online activity on Facebook. All this is a lucrative data is not always secure or kept confidential. Essentially, when you enter a social site, you are leaving your freedom of internet behind and entering network governed by the owners. Privacy setting is not a shield, as it is only meant to protect you from general members of the social network. So, before you post anything or even sign up on social media accounts, be aware of what you are posting online.

False/Fake content:

Not everything online or on social media profile is real. Fake news is an existential crisis for social media. It spreads faster than the truth does and is diffused significantly quicker, deeper and broader.

As per PEW research, 63% of adults get news from social media which is again the easiest place to spread the fake news which can be easily shared, as they are not censored or checked to ensure their factual.

Your online reputation is an extension of you and your brand. Your followers may see you as trustworthy, dependable and knowledgeable. So when you enter a digital space, you must ensure your reputation matches the real you. When you share any news on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform, be sure to share only true and factual information.

Social sharing risks:

One may be smart and knowledgeable before sharing any information online, but even smart people are prone to technical errors or mistakes. Like posting content on the wrong window, or sharing private material due to device’s les-known feature and other sensitive information learned by typing on a wrong message panel. Such mistakes would cost heavy on the social reach and the engagement.

So it is advisable to be cautious and protect yourself from the risks. Necessary training for yourself and your employees would help reduce the likelihood of sharing wrong news or post. False information gets 10x times faster than truth, so in any such cases, take measures to act quickly.


Security is trade-off in social media, the more you restrict sharing, the less are going to have chances of finding people. It certainly is challenging to maintain security where there are hackers, scammers, and blackmailers around. However, taking some necessary actions like logging off from the accounts after your work, checking what apps are connected to the social media, practicing good password hygiene, keeping mobile apps updated and monitoring social media regularly.

The Bottom Line:

With growing concerns amongst social media users, they are less willing to trust social media sites and share their personal information. But they are choiceless, while online presence is a standard exception. So understand your business and hire a service to scan your organization’s social media activities if necessary, double check on each post and set permissions before it goes out. Ultimately, work towards improving security and privacy for both businesses and individuals.