Privacy, Social Media and You

In April 2018 Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s admittance of Facebook user’s data used by Cambridge Analytica in our last presidential election has caused an emotional reaction in Americans and lawmakers alike.  Zuckerberg admitted that controls to prevent such a leak were not in place and that, he too, believes social media will need to be regulated in the future.  To avoid your social media profile from being used for personal or political gain by those wanting control and what will it take to ensure personal privacy and protection of your sensitive personal data going forward?

With this specific instance, information was obtained by the downloading of third-party apps onto the personal smartphones of unsuspecting legal age voters.  Because Facebook operates in an unregulated industry, no foresight had been given to notify those whose personal information was being used for a political purpose until the story leaked to the media and was made public.

With the sharing of personal information-sometimes by the person themselves-where does that leave privacy and personal information when it comes to your investments?  The financial services industry operates under the regulation of the Federal Government (the SEC) and FINRA, which requires each financial company to develop protocols for transparency and notification to customers if or when their information compromises.  Aside from technology in place to protect financial customer information, the customer must also play a role in their own personal privacy.

To help you to determine if you may be compromising your privacy and personal information:

Review your social media profile and ‘turn off’ public view of your information such as date of birth, contact information, and education and employment information.  Limit this information, along with photos, only to connections. You may want to eliminate personal information from your profile.

Use Apps only from financial companies you do business with and don’t use apps that aggregate access to all companies through a third party app-especially if they’re not a financial company.  Compiling online access to multiple companies through one app source puts you at risk for all your financial passwords and profiles.

Be aware of what you’re putting on the internet each time you ‘like’ or comment on a social post.  Artificial Intelligence captures your reaction to ad targeting-which is what happened this past election.  Those that commented or ‘liked’ posts were the recipients of more targeting; certain geographic areas were targeted during the 2016 election.

Lastly, have varied login and password credentials for each account you have-from the electric company to your retirement accounts.  Do not use the same information as if one is compromises they may all be.  We leave our digital path on the internet each time we login if we are not logging in and out securely each time with different credentials.

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