Opinions

Privacy becomes a bit more public

by CORY CHEN

Social media is an effective and convenient way to communicate with people, but due to the many dangers and traps that lurk online, websites and users need to take more caution with the information they post online.

Confidentiality has always been an issue with social media. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have given stalkers and identity thieves easy access to look up and retain information without a person’s consent. Even with routinely updated privacy settings, looking up one’s personal information can be done effortlessly.

According to nbc.com, a 20-year-old woman named Amy Boyer was killed in late 2013 after being stalked on the Internet. The killer had bought Boyer’s Social Security number online for $45. These situations are not isolated. According to identitytheft.info, over 15 million people have been victims of identity theft and fraud, costing about 246.7 million a year.

Privacy is an issue that does not have a lot of recognition and concern. Many people post information about themselves without realizing how accessible that information is, and that all their information is public and can be viewed at any time. Companies, colleges and businesses even look through personal information to determine accepting or hiring people.

Websites should be more focused on privacy and hacking. There should be more strict laws and more security around it. Privacy is a legal right and we should all be safe and comfortable with the security of our personal information. Care should be taken when posting information or photographs online. Addresses, birthdays and names of schools and workplaces are things that should be released with caution and should not be able to be seen by complete strangers.

According to ivn.us, 11% of Internet users have had important personal information stolen such as their bank account information and 12% of Internet users have been stalked or harassed online. This could be avoided or mitigated if banks and others in charge of protecting the personal information of many would take measures to prevent hackers from accessing it.

Although social media is a fun and convenient way to interact and get to know more about people, others might use that information for their own personal use or stalking. People should be more wary about what they put online, and privacy measures should be more secure and stringent.

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