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Protecting Your Privacy


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Seeing a Facebook alert pop up on her phone screen, business teacher Leah Lile was not expecting a notification on the status of her privacy. Due to one of her friends on Facebook adding an app called “My Digital Life,” Lile’s profile was affected, and her data was used without her knowledge.

Facebook has recently come under fire after Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm, gained access to the private information of more than 50 million Facebook users. In April, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in a trial for the use of the public’s data unknowingly.

“We didn’t take a broad enough view of what our responsibility is and that was a huge mistake,” Zuckerberg said.

Lile is a frequent Facebook user, using the app as a means to catch up with distant friends.

“I feel like our information is taken and used without proper notification all of the time,” Lile said. “I think it is really up to the user to filter what personal information he or she wants to share.”

Lile takes precautions on social media, limiting locations on posts and being cautious when accepting friends. Oral Communications teacher Paula Barker has a Facebook page specifically dedicated to her course and is sure to take these precautions as well. Barker deletes tags on all of the photos of her students. Barker said that her advice to all social media users is to “use with caution.”

I believe all social media users should be aware that when they make the choice to put information online, they are potentially giving away some of their privacy,” Barker said.

Sophomore Pierce Garrett uses the app at least once a day, looking at family photos and staying up-to-date on current events. Garrett is cautious with his information, but does share small things about himself, like where he goes to school.

“I feel like Facebook using its member’s data is irresponsible on their part,” Garrett said. “People should be reimbursed.”

Initially unaware of this privacy scandal, frequent Facebook user sophomore Brooklyn Waller now approaches the app with a different mindset.

“It makes me uncomfortable using the app, because I should be able to put stuff I want out there without it being used without my permission,” Waller said.

Waller’s family is sure to remind her of the importance of keeping her privacy safe on the internet.

“My mom tells me to not accept people I don’t know,” Waller said. “I’ve had friends who got hacked because their [profiles] are public. I only accept the people I know. You can get some weird people, so I just hit decline.”

Garrett remembers the original, harmless attraction to social media–communicating with those who can’t be in front of you.

“Social media should [allow] people [to] interact with each other without being face to face,” Garrett said. “It shouldn’t be used for data.”  

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