Threats to privacy

Exposure of personal information

The greatest risk of social media is to one’s privacy. The use of social media raises the issue of information management such as personally identifiable information, security of government data, and transparency.

The initial risk is related to exposure of personal data on the Internet. Social media profiles often contain personal data about the users, including full name, place of birth, date of birth, and contact information. This can make a user more likely to become the target of identity fraud because others may be able to reconstruct the user’s key information such as their social security number by using the information found in their profile.

Cyberstalking is also a problem that can arise from making personal information public. For example, the frequent disclosure of private activities on social media, such as status updates, location data, pictures, and adding new friends, provide stalkers with material that helps them survey their targets.

Exposure of personal information can also have negative effects on the personal and professional life of social media users, especially young users. Websites are often considered an ongoing collective record of users’ activity. Therefore, even if a comment, picture, or video posted on a social media website is later deleted, the data is often retained by the site and it could be potentially recovered. Furthermore, once made public, the user has no control ...

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