Facebook, yes something that has been in the news quite a bit in the past couple months. As most everyone knows, Cambridge Analytica used Facebook as a tool to retrieve private information of those who accessed the app, as well as individuals who were connected as friends with those who accessed the app. This 2015 event gained extensive media coverage when Mark Zuckerberg was recently called to testify in front of Congress for two days.
There was a huge backlash following the news of this event, causing Facebook to tighten their privacy settings. Facebook has also changed the way they communicate with the public about Facebook’s purpose. In April 2018, they have launched their “Here together” campaign. In this campaign, they speak on the data misuse and what they plan to do to make it better. Although opinions on this matter are still up in the air, we can choose to move forward and learn from the past. Here are a few things about cybersecurity Facebook has taught us:
This is something we have heard about frequently but events like this just remind us how important it is. What you put on the internet stays on the internet. When creating profiles on social media platforms or posting in general, you should always think critically about what information you’re putting out there. You never really know who will gain access to it or how it will be used.
Cybersecurity is especially important for young adults who don’t completely understand the worst-case scenarios of internet sharing. Educating yourself and others can help prevent these scenarios such as your data being sold to the wrong company or person. One thing to remember is just because a social media profile asks for multiple categories of information, you do not have to fill it out completely. Only fill out the information you are comfortable with everyone on the internet seeing, regardless of your privacy settings.
Business Continuity Plan
Business continuity plans are plans that are set in place if and when a disaster strikes. These types of disasters can be natural like an earthquake or hurricane, or manmade such as cyber-attacks, theft and sabotage. When in the technology industry, it is crucial to have a business continuity plan in place in case of a cyber-attack, data breach or leaked company information. Seconds can mean a lifetime when dealing with personal data.
Another reason why the term “data breach” is a bit of a stretch is that everyone who signed up for this application gave consent for this information. When you exit Facebook to another application you have to click a button that says you agree for that application to collect your data, normally it is your name, birthday and friends list. The issue here, was people misunderstood the privacy settings on Facebook. Which is what Cambridge Analytica took advantage of by collecting data on friends of those who authorized the application.
At the end of the day, opinions aside, we should all use this event as a learning experience. Facebook is still a part of our daily lives and will continue to be. We as consumers and internet users must be smarter about what information we put out and what information we read.