Americans want privacy but our posts beg to differ

By Danielle Brooks |Staff Writer|

IMG_3867Americans are concerned with losing their privacy, but they may be surrendering their own privacy by using social media sites at their own will.

A study conducted in January 2014 by Pew Research found that 74 percent of online adults use social media.

However, these social media sites require private information when creating an account.

“I deleted the Facebook app from my phone after the whole Facebook Messenger controversy,” said Elizabeth Hemmelgarn. “I didn’t like the fact that they could gain access to my personal information.”

Earlier in the year, Facebook created a new Facebook Messaging app that was intended to be faster than the original app.

It created controversy because it required users to alter their privacy settings.

“When you download the app, the fine print says you’ll be giving the app permission to read your phone contacts, access your exact location with your phone’s GPS, read and edit your text messages, take pictures and videos and record audio,” stated Ariel Rothfield, a reporter from WOWKTV.

Facebook is not the only site that asks users to gain access to their privacy settings.

In fact, most apps such as Snapchat and Instagram request permission similar to Facebook.

The purpose of Snapchat is to send pictures and videos to your friends, only meant to be seen for up to 10 seconds at most, and then deleted “forever.”

Unfortunately, Snapchat doesn’t delete the images.

Instead they keep them stored away in their database, but according to The Guardian, “with the right software, a savvy hacker could certainly gain access to photos, and contacts, and other cellular data, as well.”

“I’m always cautious about the things that I post online because I wouldn’t want that to affect my career in the future,” said Jessica Winter. “I think the whole idea of being able to screenshot someone else’s picture is horrible because you have no idea what that person will do with your picture.”

Practically everything we do in life, especially online, is being watched.

With every search and every click, someone knows exactly what we are up to, so it’s important to be aware of the trail of information that we are leaving.

“I understand that the purpose of social media is to have your friends keep up with your life, but we don’t need to know what you’re doing every second of every day,” said Michelle Luna.

Recently, there have been many stories of homes being broken into due to status updates on social media.

A story on CNN explained that a woman and her fiancé left their home for the evening to attend a concert.

Before leaving, they posted a status update on Facebook sharing where they were going.

Only 35 minutes after the couple left for the concert, their home had been broken into.

All it took was the burglars to call the venue to find the exact time the show started.

You never know how the information you provide will be used against you.

The next time you find yourself downloading the latest app that your friends have been raving about, you might want to read the privacy policy to make sure your personal information or embarrassing pictures don’t go viral.



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