They say sharing is caring, but do you care about what you share?
Today we will talk about sharing things on social media, most notably on Facebook. I choose Facebook as the main target for this due to the higher exposure of images and other sensitive material and the ease of finding out other things about the person sharing it. This makes the Facebook sharing particularly sensitive to what I am writing here.
There are two major issues with sharing that I will take up, the first and probably most dangerous (in a sense) is unintentional sharing or unknown automatic sharing. I’ve talked a bit about this in the past. This is when information is shared to social medias without your knowledge and, a lot of times, you won’t even notice it until someone in your circle of friends comments about it. The most prominent example, and probably the most harmless. is the automatic sharing of statistics from your Facebook games. If you haven’t told the app to not publish to your timeline, it will spam out a diversity of facts about your progress, from what booster you just bought to what level you’re currently stuck at. This would really only be harmful if you’re doing it while you’re supposed to be working, but that’s more your problem than a problem with the sharing.
There are other apps where this could become a problem though. You’d be surprised how sensitive some information could be. In the earlier article I talked about the running apps that give a detailed map of your regular running routes, times and dates, down to the second, and shares it on your Facebook wall. This is obviously really bad, since it allows people who might want to harm you to find out where you live and where you hang out. But this isn’t restricted to those apps. In fact, you don’t need a map to find that out. Some restaurants and stores have discount apps that gives you a percentage off every purchase if you use it. Those usually post your location and time to Facebook when you walk into the store.
Several photography apps also automatically share every picture you take. There was an incident with a Swedish politician in the summer of 2012 who took a picture with his phone and it got automatically shared. He did not know this and the picture was meant as a picture for the family album. In a family album, full frontal nudity by the summer house might be acceptable, but not on Facebook. Since he was on vacation, it took several hours for him to notice that he had shown his junk to the whole world, and the picture got shared far and wide. You don’t need to be a top-name politician to want to keep your pictures safe from prying eyes. Continue reading