Cyber Safe Community: Are Facebook and Instagram spying on you?

Cyber Safe

Do you ever get the impression Facebook and Instagram are spying on you?

We’ve all had those moments when we’re telling a friend about a new pair of shoes, and minutes later, an ad for that very product pops up on their news feed.

Or what about that time you got an online coupon for your dog’s favorite food right as you walked down that aisle in the grocery store?

Coincidence? Not according to cybersecurity expert Dr. Shawn Murray.

“The algorithms that are being developed today are automating with what we call artificial intelligence,” Murray said. “That means it’s a learning algorithm or learning system, so based on the input provided to the algorithm, it goes into an engine and develops a profile on you. As you continue to interact with life and society, the algorithm is allowed to collect data on you. It can manipulate the data to introduce things to you that would be more appealing.”

Murray urges us all to keep cameras, microphones, and geolocators off unless they’re in use. Log out of Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites when you’re not using them. If you’re not using your phone, turn it off.

Plus, according to Murray and a host of studies, that might actually make you happier.

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