Spying on social media and its consequences for users.

Social networks are very useful, however, they have a very clear disadvantage, cyber-spy. Learn about spying on social media and its consequences.

Nowadays social networks are part, practically full time in our daily life; although they do not have much time since their appearance; with the advance of technology and the passing of time they have been adhering more to our routine, reaching the point where today, many people consider them indispensable to be able to develop their activities.However, we must be careful with the inconveniences that these mean, as spying on social media.

Given their uses, social networks; although at first they were born to help us to improve the way we communicate; currently they help us too much more than that, and that is that from entertainment to work, there are many functions that we can find for social networks.

social media

What are social networks?

At first; At first, social networks were simply a digital medium where people interact and exchange messages with each other; their origin is linked to the Internet itself since without the emergence of the Internet these would not have become possible.

For many people, social networks appeared in 1997; where Randy Conrads created the first social network called Classmates and as it had been mentioned; its function was that former classmates, either from school or university, could keep in touch with each other.

After the first social network, many companies and individuals began to develop their version of a social network; and each type of social network added a feature that became more and more attractive to users; which caused some social networks to fall into oblivion or to evolve. Although spying on social networks was not thought of at first, it did not take long to happen.

That’s why; one of the biggest challenges facing social networks today are the rumors of cyber spying; which has forced many users to try to reduce their dependence on social networks; and in turn, many of these users claim that this new behavior of the best known social networks; such as Facebook or Instagram or Whatsapp; represents a direct threat to our data and mainly to our privacy.

What is cyberpionage?

Cyberespionage is a term that defines individuals, companies, nations or, among others; that collect information through the Internet; all this without the permission of the people who possess that information. Espionage and information theft is not a new practice at all; it has been done since the beginning of the Internet.

There have been people who have dedicated themselves exclusively to developing ways to steal illegally; or access information that is not available to everyone. For this reason, many methods or tools have been invented; with these, the owners of the information can give access to it regardless of the security they have; among the best known are:

  • Malware: This is one of the most common methods of stealing information from devices; although today we have many tools to identify them, usually through malicious links, files downloaded from the Internet and others.
  • Phishing: This also represents one of the most used techniques to obtain our information and passwords from some sites; it usually happens when you send us a link to complete an information or fill out a form.
  • Public networks: Sometimes when we connect to a public WiFi network; such as a park or airport; we are exposed to a hacker connected to the same network as us and can access our information.
  • Among others

Companies and hackers

However; although at the beginning it was the intelligence agencies, governments; security forces or “hackers” who steal information illegally or without the consent of the owners, with the passage of time and with the emergence of social networks, our personal data have been acquiring a price in the market, especially in the world of advertising and marketing; so companies that do this are able to offer large amounts of money to large social media companies; to sell our personal information; so that’s where social media spying comes from.

Spying on social media

With the passage of time and the evolution of social networks; one of the enigmas that have been present during this process is the use that is given to our personal information; or if it is really possible to spy on social networks. While it is true that large companies like Facebook and all its subsidiaries have access to all the information we post on any of their social networks; it has also been shown that companies like this or Google. In addition to being able to access the data we upload on their platforms; for their use they require that we grant them some permissions; such as access to our location, camera, phone log, microphone and among others.

So in this sense; by us knowing or not granting all the permissions that the application requests or demands for its use; we automatically give the authority that these companies can do their will with the information collected belonging to each user. In this sense; it is more than clear that our data and information has a much greater economic value than we can imagine;although individually this may not represent a large figure; it is collectively where we realize that the use of social networks is not really “free” as it is offered to us.

Different times; once companies have access to our data and have already collected valuable information; they sell it to statistics and analysis companies; where they use this information for marketing; advertising and even election campaigns.

In conclusion about spying on social media…

This is why we must always be attentive to the permissions we grant to applications once we know the actual use of our personal data and how social networks benefit. Although most of them do not require us to grant permissions; we must at least give them access to our storage, headset and microphone; so we will inevitably end up offering our data to these companies.

Interesting related articles: The dangers of phishing in organizations.

Other articles that may interest you: Watch out for the backdoors.