August 28, 2017
While I’ve been told that Facebook is only for old people by my little sister no less than fifty times, it’s still the most popular social media platform on the planet by a landslide. With more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook’s photos, news feeds, and trending stories eclipse even the most enthralling SnapChat filters and presidential tweet storms. However, a recent study has shown that, despite its undeniable popularity, users aren’t entirely sure that their personal information is safe on the social media platform. And unfortunately, they might be right.
According to a survey by GetSafe, 76.3 percent of Americans believe that Facebook is the riskiest social media platform to store your personal information. Dating platforms came in second at 9.8 percent, with LinkedIn (3.9 percent), SnapChat (3.2 percent), Twitter (2.7 percent), and Instagram (2.5 percent) rounding out the top six. The other social media platforms don’t even warrant mentioning, as less than a percent believed them to be risky by any definition of the word.
Unfortunately for Facebook, public perception is right on the nose, as more and more users have reported security breaches, information hacks, and generally strange, sketchy behavior. Things have gotten so bad that, in 2015, the European Commission warned EU citizens to close their Facebook accounts for fear of being spied on.
So what’s to blame for the dire security situation the world’s most popular social media platform has found itself in? It’s actually pretty obvious:
“While all of those online game invitations may seem like the real torture, some of the most common Facebook hacks and scams last year involved people pretending to be friends or family for various reasons,” wrote the authors of the study. “[For example] phishing sites sending emails claiming to be Facebook charging you money for your account, and online giveaway scams. Essentially, if someone says you can get 36 holiday gifts by just buying one, it’s not just too good to be true – it’s illegal.”
On the other side of the social media security coin sits Reddit and Youtube, with 29.1 percent and 22 percent of users respectively believing they are the safest social media platforms out there. While these are the highest numbers on that side of the survey, many respondents still believed them to be unsafe, meaning that social media as a whole is dealing with a cybersecurity PR problem that even Elon Musk would have trouble solving.
For a more visual and in-depth analysis of social media security trends, take a look at the original study here and check out the infographic displaying the information below:
Read more about social media cybersecurity on TechCo
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