[Comic] Three Lessons You Should Learn From Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

How to alleviate security concerns over who is following you on FacebookIt’s been a few months now since the big announcement of that Cambridge Analytica was gaming Facebook by leveraging lacking policies regarding the harvesting of data using Facebook apps. While data security isn’t usually a humorous topic, since it is often surrounded by works like “lapse”, “breach” or “failure” but I thought I’d lighten up the mood around the topic with a new social media comic and some tips for handling and managing your online data.

I’ll start with the tips. If you really are concerned about the security of your data relating to your online accounts, then consider doing the following:

Tip 1: Recognize that you, and you alone, are the only one responsible for your security and privacy. If you don’t want your private data on Facebook, then don’t post it there. Take affirmative actions to let your friends and family know that you don’t want your photos posted. Un-tag yourself when a friend tags you in a photo. Don’t sit back and complain if Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook are harvesting your data when you’re posting everything you’re doing at every second of every day.

Tip 2: In all things marketing, remember that YOU are the product. Social Networks are monetized by selling your data. The more you post, the more data input they have, the better they can target ads, products, and services to you and the more money they make. There is a reason that most social networks are free. They don’t charge you money because your personal information is worth its weight in gold. Consider that as you share every aspect of your life.

If you're really worried about Facebook reading your thoughts, just grab a tin foil hat

Yes…I actually own a foil hat. It is surprisingly comfy 🙂

Tip 3: Balance the risks vs rewards when it comes to giving up your information. Sure you could delete every account, scrub every photo, and remove every video. You could put on your foil hat and keep Facebook from reading your thoughts. The reality is you don’t have to go full-on social media hermit to protect your privacy.

Just keep in mind that the social networks only make good money if the can display ads that you are actually interested in. There isn’t a high return on investment for poorly target ads, so share in moderation and enjoy the fact that you might get that new pair of shoes at a 20% discount if you click on that targeted Zappos ad.

And now for the social media comic. Remember that while we are all unique and special, for the most part Facebook and other social networks like to lump us together into “segments” and market to those segments. Those segments allow them to deliver ads that other people like you have clicked on. Sure, you can download all of the data that Facebook has collected about you and sift through it. More than likely it will tell you that you’ve been sharing waaaaay too much information with Facebook.


Is your life as interesting as social media makes it out to be?

Bonus Tip: Give your kids a chance to protect their own privacy. Imagine if, on the day you turned 21 your parents informed you that they had sold all of your privacy and, as an adult, you should have zero expectations of any privacy. That is very much what new parents are doing in this age of social media. By posting every photo from every moment in the life of your child on Facebook, you are allowing Facebook and other social networks to track every moment of your child’s life. You are essentially selling their privacy for the use of the social network. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong….just think about it before you do it.

Have a tip that others can benefit from regarding their social media channels and personal privacy. Have a comment about how I’m nuts and should make a better foil hat? Just leave a comment…I read them all 🙂



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