FACEBOOK MESSENGER, INSTAGRAM, WHATSAPP TO MERGE: DATA PRIVACY

Three of the biggest social media platforms on the internet are undoubtedly Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. All these three platforms have over a billion users. The most recent news that is garnering a lot of attention from people who use these social media platforms is that there are chances these three platforms would be merged soon.

What does the unification of these three giant social media platforms mean? Once combined, users will be able to send messages to people from one social media platform to another. However, it has already been predicted that this action is going to bring along some negative aspects, especially pertaining to user privacy.

It’s quite natural for users to become more protective of their online data and privacy. With that being said, it still has not been finalized if the three social media platforms will be merged or not. However, Facebook is already planning to rebuild the underlying infrastructure. This will enable a user using only one of the apps to communicate with other employees in the company, as the first step.

As for the change in the internal infrastructure, Facebook also plans to include end-to-end encryption for messages, so that the messages are visible only to the people who are communicating. The intention of merging three apps is a Facebook marketing strategy that it will drive more people to use these apps to communicate, making it their primary messaging system.

How to Stay Secure and Protected

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While we still have to wait and find out if Facebook would really merge the three platforms, walking on eggshells when the change takes place doesn’t make sense. Keeping in mind the implications of this action, there are certain steps that users can take to secure their data and dodge any challenges to their privacy. Here’s what you can do.

Selective sharing

The very first thing you need to do as a wise user of these social media platforms is to be selective about what kind of content you share. Social media platforms allow us to stay connected with our friends and family, and share precious moments with people who matter to us. However, while using these apps, one has to be cautious about what one shares and with whom. Be sceptical about sharing personal information, like bank-related details or your address.

Update privacy settings

While it can seem challenging to monitor every move that you make on social media platforms, one of the blessings that these platforms provide is taking care of your privacy by updating the settings. Whether it’s the visibility of your stories, status, pictures, or even your ‘last seen’ and activity, you can control pretty much everything on social media platforms these days. Some apps even track your location and you can turn it off.

Update your apps

Many people make the mistake of not updating their apps that they use in a timely manner. Many apps bring new ways to regulate privacy with these updates. Moreover, these updates also protect your data from a number of bugs. If you don’t update the app, you might fall victim to one of these software bugs. Make sure you keep the automatic update on so that as soon as there is an update, the app gets updated.

Be cautious

Before you click a link, be very cautious. Since cyber-crime is on the rise these days, people might spread phishing links by sending them across social media platforms. If you find a message, link, or a profile fishy, don’t interact with the person. To be more sure about your privacy and security, you can even block suspicious accounts and profiles.

Be secure

There is a variety of software that you would find online to ensure your browsing activity is private and secure. Software, like McAfee, works to block phishing sites and malware to keep your browsing and online data protected. This means if you happen to click a malicious link by mistake, you would be protected by the software. With this, you can stay protected from potential threats.

Privacy is one of the biggest concerns when we use any social media platforms. When not used properly, there are chances of cyber theft and data misuse. While people are generally quite alert while using these social media platforms, if the news that we come across these days is true, we need to be more cautious about what we send to people. While there is no harm in using social media platforms, being mindful of what kind of information you display, what kind of messages you send, and what kind of links you open is really important. When you take the above-mentioned precautions while using any of the social media platform, irrespective of the merge, you will get to make the most out of these apps and platforms without being a victim to their negative aspects.

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