But, with social media becoming increasingly brand-friendly, and with everyone from your grandmother to your dog now having their own Facebook profile, is it time to be seriously worried about how your personal information is being handled?
Two weeks ago, insurance firm Admiral announced that it was introducing a new service via Facebook, where users can offer up their personal information and activity history in the hope that the way they use social media convinces insurers they’re a safe driver. Admiral claimed this was to “help make sure safe drivers aren't penalised and get the best price possible”. It definitely wasn’t aimed at using the fact that you once posted a rant about slow drivers to justify upping your premium.
Since concerns over the sharing of data between Facebook and WhatsApp escalated earlier this year, commissions have probed into the partnership and what it means for users. Last week, Facebook was forced to pause the sharing of data between the two platforms. In a matter of days, Facebook acted as the heroic protector of online privacy - and quickly thereafter became the humbled enemy of it.
So, should you be worried? Perhaps. You should certainly be careful about what you post on social networks, but that’s the case for pretty much the entire internet. It’s also important to realise that the sharing of information is part of what makes your experience on social media so dynamic.
It’s what allows Facebook to suggest pages or groups based on your interests, and little-known events local to you; and it lets you create profiles on apps with the single click of an ‘allow’ button. You might want to just go back and delete those embarrassing status updates from 2007, though…