The popularity of social media and the problems associated with the sharing of person data

Topics: HTTP cookie, Identity theft, Web browser Pages: 4 (1489 words) Published: November 2, 2013
Explain the popularity of social media and how it is used by the general public. What are the problems associated with sharing personal information in this way and how can the be overcome? How else is privacy threatened online? What legal steps have been introduced to tackle this and how do they work?

According to http://pewinternet.org ‘as of December 2012, 15% of online adults say they use Pinterest, 13% of online adults say they use Instagram, 6% of online adults say they use Tumblr and 67% of online adults say they use Facebook’ and in May 2013, ‘74% of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62% of men’. These figures show how social media is beginning to become increasingly used by adults suggesting its popularity is also rising (as shown by the graph on the right). Websites such as Facebook and Twitter provide user with current update information about those around them, Twitter specifically provides the user with up-to-date news which is tailored around their interest. The features of social media sites mean they are becoming increasingly more accessible to all ages and the flexibility of these website enables the websites content to attract audience from all age groups. However, these social media websites generally ask the user to set up an account in which the input the personal information (name, age, location, etc.) to create a profile. These profiles are accessible by almost anyone with a computer and this in itself brings up many different issues. If anyone can access where someone lives, their age and name then that person is under threat of being a victim of identity theft. Identity theft can be classified as ‘the kind of fraud that results in the loss of personal data, such as passwords, user names, banking information, or credit card numbers’ according to Microsoft’s Safety and Security Centre. Conman turned FBI security expert Frank Abagnale (at an appearance at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London) spoke...
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