Sat with smirks on our faces we have been watching the Facebook privacy saga unfold here at Quick Loans. The hysteria of the media and Facebook users has been priceless, if not a little irritating.
We are not for one minute saying that we find it funny that people have had their personal details passed on and used without their knowledge – in fact we find it completely wrong and believe the company, as well as other social media platforms, have been running riot for far too long. For years they have been lacklustre with their privacy policies and haven’t protected people the way they should have. We’re happy that certain chickens are coming home to roost.
On the flip side of the coin, however, we believe that people need to be a lot more careful when it comes to sharing information online. People are so open these days it’s unreal. At the click of a button you can find out what certain people had for their breakfast, what they will be having for their tea and the pictures you get to see…well, to put it politely, some people don’t seem to have much modesty at all!
We often ask ourselves: ‘Would that person walk up to stranger in a bikini or boxer shorts and tell them what they had for breakfast that morning?’ The answer to this would more than likely be a resounding ‘NO’, so why are people OK with doing this through an online platform?
The people amongst us that like to shout their business out to the masses need to realise the implications of their behaviour, not just from a social point of view, but also a financial position.
How many people realise for instance that firms, including some financial organisations, are using Facebook and other social media entities as a pathway to spy on lifestyles and behaviours? And how many people knew if you were to apply for finance, such as a loan or a mortgage, that certain firms could look at your social media presence and this could help swing a decision? They’d look at how often you appeared to go out using photographs and conversations that are public, as well as try to dig dirt on salaries and the type of house you were currently residing in. The list goes on.
How scary is that? Firms are paid by a select number of banks and other financial outlets to basically scour through timelines, posts and photo libraries to gauge lifestyle choices before deciding whether or not to offer finance.
There’s a Big Brother society and then there is this. It really has been stepped up a level. But then again, who really is to blame? We can all say that this is an outrage and it is a clear invasion of privacy, but how can it possibly be an invasion of privacy when people are openly sharing this information with anyone and everyone?
We appreciate that in this day and age people are going to utilise and embrace the social media society that we live in. Everyone is doing it so in a way you will get left behind in other walks of life if you are not part of it. But people should be aware of the implications of the posts they showcase and the kinds of pictures that they want people to see.
All social media sites are great as a communication tool – people have never been so well connected and that can only be a good thing. But it cannot be stressed enough the care that needs to be taken before sharing information online.