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Aug 20 19, 2:43 pm

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On safety and security: Some threats of too much social media usage

by | Feature

Aug. 20, 19 | 2:43 pm

It’s inevitable that everything is possible in the virtual world. Social media made all things achievable nowadays. From communication, finding jobs, ordering or purchasing products and services, expression of thoughts, and others, everything is doable. But what are the possible harms of using social media too much?

Philippe Jose Hernandez, social media expert from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) shared some thoughts about the threats in social media that users should be fully aware of.

Hernandez explained that Retired Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbiterio Velasco, Jr. cited a 2010 New York Supreme Court ruling that stated that privacy in social media is founded on a theoretical protocol is known as “wishful thinking.

“Security depends on the situation. People are at the mercy of the networks they subscribe to. If Cambridge Analytica were any indication, then there are times when security is breached. The new commodity is data, and that is what we provide the Internet,” he said.

Danilo Arao from University of the Philippines (UP) also explained that while https protocol provides some security, one sacrifice some aspects of digital security in signing up on social media platforms.

“For the most part, protection is not assured mainly due to third-party apps that are allowed by social platforms like Facebook to mine social media data,” Arao explained.

For the general social media users who always post messages publicly, “privacy should be given due attention, along with ethics including the posting of private pictures, or even pictures of babies,” he added.

Arao believes that privacy is a myth on social media. If one wants privacy, he or she should get off the digital grid, so to speak.

In the European Union, they have the “Right to be forgotten.” If extended to social media, the networks should remove all our histories and data once we deactivate. The rights to edit/modify/ delete posts are there, but depending on your popularity, even if you delete a post immediately, people may have already seen it and taken screenshots. Thus, you must be careful,” Hernandez said.

The disadvantage of social media

For several cybercrimes made online, experts see that the main disadvantage is its misuse by posers and criminal elements. Irresponsible use also results in unconscious bullying and shaming, not to mention virtual mob rule.

“It is imperative for websites to screen unwanted accounts. It is not censorship but gatekeeping, which all responsible webmasters should do,” Arao suggested.

Cybersecurity threats; cyberbullying; faking of identities, photos, videos, and collaterals; mental health issues (e.g., Instagram is the leading cause of depression among the networks) are some threats and disadvantages of using social media.

“People are more detached in terms of physical contact. People can become more socially awkward and be more focused on their phones rather than the people sitting next to them. So, mindfulness is observed to be waning,” Hernandez explained.

Arao also added that social media has resulted in a more sedentary lifestyle. There is also a perspective of having two lives, one online and another reality. In more extreme cases, one’s real-life becomes dictated by what one projects to be the “social media” persona, which is also a threat to the identification and personal identities.

“As people learn how to control social media, it becomes more dangerous. It has even become weaponized to spread lies, misinformation, and disinformation,” Arao said.

Experts suggest that people should live more in reality and never rely much on social media. Never become a slave of social media. Learn to control.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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