More than ever it seems private individuals are questioning whether information is really secure when using social media sources. A centralized page with information linked to name, address, birth date and other vital information is just what a hacker needs to get a foothold in someone's full identification.
Facebook has drawn specific attention to itself after a recent decision to force new email contacts on its users, according to eWeek, creating accounts under its own moniker in what it claims was a move to increase utility and avoid adding third parties into the picture. The company claims this will boost data security rather than act as a detriment, but some are concerned too much consolidation will create a much bigger threat.
An uncertain future
A review by security analyst group Sophos pointed out that this move by Facebook is potentially one of its riskiest yet. Since last year, eWeek noted, Graham Cluley of Sophos has been warning consumers against additional services offered by the social media giant. Its messenger, photo application and now custom email address could spell more trouble for users than anything else.
Walking the line
For most data protection with these kinds of entities will remain a personal battle, but the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has decided that, at least on that island, the provider will be held responsible for protecting users. Seeing as more technology companies are setting up shop in Dublin and the surrounding area, the office is able to exact more leverage against these online entities.
In a recent statement, the DPC announced both LinkedIn and Facebook, particularly due to recent hacking threats, would be required to overhaul their privacy and protection policies. At least for clients in Ireland, Facebook will be required to redefine its security system for heightened transparency and ease of access by its users.
"People don't always think about it in terms of surveillance, but is you take a textbook definition of surveillance it describes about 85 percent of what people do on Facebook," researcher Daniel Trottier told BuzzFeed.
While much of what's going on there these days may have once amounted to stalking, according to the news source, now people invite these precautions in order to enhance data protection. Given the alternative, Trottier said, it is the easier of the two pills to swallow, but people still need to remain vigilant.