Security Breaches Won’t Stop Me From Using Facebook

Image courtesy os Stock Catalog | Flickr

Sarah Renard

Recently, people have become anxious about accusations regarding privacy and data breaches with regards to Facebook — but is this enough to scare people away, or is it just a back-of-the-mind worry that people hardly think about? The security breach of 50 million people is definitely enough to cause panic among Facebook users, but what makes it so nerve-wracking?

Maybe it is just the fact that strangers have access to their info. Of course, I wouldn’t want my information in the hands of some stranger, but in a way, it already is. We give our information to Facebook willingly; we just don’t want to admit that there are risks in doing so.

In my case, I had already begun to pay no mind to the news of data and privacy breaches only a week after I had read about it. While I could choose to stop using Facebook because of this breach, I understand that if I did, it would be less convenient for me.

A lot of students here at UCSB use Facebook as a way to keep up with club events and extracurriculars. Sororities use it to help spread the word about recruitment, major departments use it to share information about future events or internship opportunities, and even the UCSB housing community uses it as a way to keep residents updated and connected with each other. Moreover, Facebook makes it easy for students to be in the know about things happening on campus, like plays, events happening at the Multicultural Center, and more.

As a UCSB student, I find that Facebook allows me to stay up-to-date with my rowing team, my church, and that it also allows me to stay in-the-know about events happening all over campus. Additionally, I find that Facebook is quite handy for keeping up with the lives of friends and family as well as people who live far away.

So, do we need to give Facebook up? Or should we be willing to use it even with its risks? Personally, I choose the latter, because I visit Facebook in order to stay updated with the groups I’m a part of and with upcoming events.

Yes, it’s true that there is a risk that Facebook experiences data breaches and releases my personal information, but isn’t that the same with other social media platforms? So then, why aren’t we worried about Instagram? Facebook, like all social media sites, comes with risks, but I’m willing to accept them and use it as my personal connection to the groups I’m a part of.

Let’s be honest, the only reason we worry about these breaches is because we know about them. Who’s to say that Instagram, Snapchat, or any other platform isn’t just as at risk as we make Facebook out to be?

Maybe Facebook isn’t as dangerous as we make it seem, even with the risk of having information released. Moreover, what’s the worst that could happen? The risk to the individual is not substantial. Really, the risk lies in what the information is being used for — which is completely outside of our control.

Companies like Cambridge Analytica know your birthday and see some photos? Isn’t that what everyone else sees? While I can see why this may be daunting, it also isn’t the scariest thing. Keeping this in mind, I choose to continue using Facebook and the many features it provides.

Is there a better social media platform? Maybe one that doesn’t have such a risk of security breaches? One could argue in favor of Instagram or any other social media platform, but Facebook provides more options for friends and family to connect with each other. Whether they live 15 miles away or 1000 miles away, Facebook provides its users with all the means of communication they need in just one site.

Instagram offers photos, Snapchat offers quick chats and photos that don’t last, and GroupMe offers a way to stay connected with groups through text, but none of them offer the variety that Facebook does when it comes to sharing our personal lives with our loved ones. So, let’s give Facebook a chance to redeem itself. Let’s help it help us make our lives more convenient. No harm, no foul, right?