How data mining on social media could be affecting you.

It’s no secret that social media generates a colossal amount of data every day. Facebook for example generates five times the amount of data the New York stock exchange does on a daily basis and Twitter twelve times that.

The stumbling block for the collation and collaboration of this data has been the inability to group and categorise this “data stream.” Social media is not structured, we don’t fill out forms when we post or voice something and as such, collecting this data that is not standardised in any way, proved troublesome for a long time.

Artificial intelligence has made huge strides in this regard and more than ever, there are organisations that are becoming increasingly aware but also capable of not only condensing but sorting this “non-standardised” data into a treasure trove of clear and concise, formatted data.

If a company or person could offer you public information backed with user preferences, inside edge information and real time cases studies of target groups, would you be interested? We think most people would be. Of course, knowing your audience has always been paramount when using social media to engage with these individuals.

An interesting use to come out of this data mining has been the measures put in place for fraud prevention and financial services. What these companies engage in now is the usual security checks but they will also compare the public data on your social media profiles to verify not only your answers but usability as well. Naturally this sounds like a double edged sword and it is to a degree but we believe that another step a fraudster would have to take to be able to scam you is an extra step we’d take to prevent it.

With these measures on their way to being enforced worldwide in the next few years, what can you do to better protect yourself from credit card fraud or online fraud in general?

  • Consider what you post on social media. If your profiles are set to public viewing then consider being honest. You wouldn’t want something you say to be misconstrued. For example a person considering applying for a home loan, shouldn’t be posting about how broke they are.
  • Always pay attention to “friend requests”, “followers” or “connection requests.” If you don’t recognise the people trying to get to your profile consider their motives. We are certainly not saying that social media is a danger but it’s always worth being cautious rather than being sorry.
  • The last point is connected to the second in some ways, clear up your contacts. Remember that based on your settings, your “friend’s, friends” can also see your profiles. It may not always be the person you can see that is trying to scam you. Stay vigilant.
Social media has been ear marked as the fore runner for AI’s collective consciousness and at the moment, it’s not difficult to see why.

Remembering that your social media platforms are increasingly becoming extended versions of yourself, you’d do well to remember that most of the information is public and unfortunately there will be people that may try to exploit it if given the chance.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on AI and data mining, please feel free to contact us here or on any of our various social media platforms.