According to Pew Research Center, people are lacking confidence in how social media sites protect their personal data. TDS Telecom (TDS®) is encouraging customers to review their social media privacy settings following several social media sites recently changing their privacy policies to track user data or make data more visible.
“Many customers continually express concern about internet privacy,” said DeAnne Boegli, national public relations manager at TDS Telecom. “One of the best ways they can protect their privacy is to consistently check and update privacy settings on all social media sites.”
Social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, regularly update their settings and notify customers. It is then up to customers to read the notices and take steps to protect their privacy. For example, Twitter recently changed its privacy settings for all users — automatically. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Twitter made the announcement with a screen overlay describing how the changes would make Twitter “more relevant” by connecting “your visits to (other) sites with Twitter content.”
Any Twitter user who simply clicked “sounds good,” was also agreeing to the changes. The reason for the change, Twitter can now track user locations and the sites they visit and, in turn, be in a better position to send targeted advertising. To manage what the site can track, users should review settings / privacy and safety / personalization and data.
LinkedIn also updated their privacy settings this summer. The changes make user profiles more visible. While the settings were changed for all, members can easily turn them off in their profile settings.
TDS also encourages customers to be cautious when engaging in online activities that can allow access to your data, such as taking Facebook quizzes with automatically-generated results. For example, when you “login with Facebook” to take a quiz, you are granting the site access to your personal profile. Facebook users can view and remove which sites have access to their profiles. The permissions can be found under Settings / Apps.
“Always watch for messages from social media sites, especially ones concerning privacy settings. Don’t disregard them until you fully understand what you are agreeing to or what is changing,” said Boegli.
By: Mary Mulcahy, Public Relations Intern