What is social media data and how can you protect yours? - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

What is social media data and how can you protect yours?

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Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Many Facebook users are worried about personal data use after Facebook's recent breach, but what exactly was taken and how can you protect yourself?

News 18 spoke with a digital media expert at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), who said marketers collect your data as you use the site to improve your experience, which typically translates into targeted ads for something you may purchase. 

There have been a lot of questions about if we know social media sites or other websites are using our data, and according to experts, the answer is yes.

"Every time we take one of those little quizzes or anything we participate in, we agree to those terms and conditions," said Laurie Boettcher, the digital marketing program director at CVTC. "The problem is, we become desensitized to actually reading them and paying attention, but it outlines exactly what information they're gathering and what they're going to do with it."

When asked about Facebook's recent data breach, and how that may affect their customer base, Boettcher had this to say:

"Facebook needs to step up their responsibility in how they manage data and how they are vetting the organizations and the marketing teams coming in to gather this data," said Boettcher. "Are they doing it in an ethical manner because as Mark [Zuckerberg] has said many times that it is their responsibility to protect our data."

Boettcher also said you can protect your own data across social media by knowing your privacy settings. She said navigating those settings will allow you to pick and choose what information you share with a given site.

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