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Is Social Media Stalking You?

People tend to believe they are safe when using free social media sites such as Facebook, but in reality you risk being stalked every time you log on and click. If you weren’t aware of this before, it’s time to understand the cold facts.

After all, why do you find specific videos embedded on your news feed or specific advertisements for items related to conversations you’ve had with friends. Imagine you’ve just congratulated a friend on their engagement and expressed excitement for the wedding. You’ll most likely see engagement gift ideas, clothing for the wedding and more all based on what you thought was a private conversation between you and your friend.

The truth is, Facebook and other free social media sites monitor everything you do, say, comment on, click on, and more. They gather all this information and then provide it to advertisers to display embedded videos or suggested videos on your page and advertisement on the side hoping for you to click on. All in the name of money!

If it really bothers you that your data is being mined by Facebook and that they continue to expand their information about you… There are some options that would allow you to hide your data.  By selecting the “Private Browsing” “No Cookies” or “Do Not Track” methods and staying logged off of Facebook. Unfortunately these methods are not very convenient as it means you would need to re-enter any data for sites you do want to follow and that you feel are safe.

For those who may only use Facebook occasionally or aren’t as savvy about Internet usage and browser strategies, they may not bother with taking the extra steps to gain back their privacy. A good majority of people may not even realize their data is exposed and sold. Who’s responsible for keeping your data private? While you may believe that free social media, like Facebook should not be exploiting you and that they have an obligation to protect their users. The issue is that most companies feel they have every right to exploit this data.  After all is said and done, these sites maintain that they are offering you something for free and that they tell you about the cookies and sites lack of privacy upfront - in the fine print.

We all know that these companies have to make money somehow… It’s just a fact of life for every business and even Facebook is a business! You can’t expect someone to build something and maintain it all for free and not be paid for the work they are doing. Social sites such as Facebook have hired people to work behind the scenes, and these people all want to be paid for their work. This goes with everything in life and has for eons, even as a trade of some product for another.

When you don’t pay for a specific product with some form of money… then you can pretty much bank on your paying with your data, and your data is a gold mine that’s being sold! Essentially, you are the money that’s being exchanged as a product to advertisers. Social sites portrayed as free aren’t really “free”!  So the question remains… What is your privacy worth to you?

Are you willing to continue to totally give up all your privacy and rights to your data? Your social life data is being compromised daily and if you prefer to gain some of your privacy back there are other alternatives. Consider taking your social life to a non-tracking non-data mining option. While you may end up paying a fee to do this, it may become of greater value to you as the free social sites like Facebook continue to capture more information about you. Paying a small monthly fee to have a private social network with those you want to be connected to and not have your data mined is a way to take back your privacy.

To learn more about taking back your privacy, contact Debra Diamond via her Facebook page -  DiamondeMediaMobile or connect with her directly on one of the other "Free" social sites.

This article was published on 14.10.2015 by Debra Diamond
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