Over the past year my daughter has moved around a bit. From youth club work in North London gang territories to working in schools in South Africa to a freshers flat at York University. At all these locations one trend was common, the local ‘brains trust’ thought it was great fun to pinch her phone and start posting obscene messages on Facebook or group messaging her friends with similar content. OK, more fool her for not properly locking her phone perhaps and I’m sure all her aunts and uncles will understand (probably!), but it got me thinking about how vulnerable we are to social media abuse.
We’ve all seen the consequences of not changing the PIN on mobile phone messaging in the phone hacking scandal, what might the consequences be of weak security on our twitter, facebook and other social media accounts. Fox News temporarily lost control of their twitter feed in July, during which time they announced President Obama’s assassination to a shocked world. If this happened to a major corporation how much more should we all be vigilant about our own social media security.
And it’s not just the security of our genuine accounts that is a problem. Many footballers and other celebrities have found strangers imitating them on social media and it is often hard to tell the fake from the genuine.
As social media becomes more prevalent in all our lives we need to pause and think what steps we are taking to protect our reputations from the actions of others.