Security & Privacy

Exploring the protection mechanisms provided

Privacy & Security

The advent of federated social networking means you, as organisation manager and end-user, can control your data with confidence.  It means no longer having to consider privacy and security in the context of centralised environments like Facebook and Twitter.  Instead, privacy isn’t about how much your social network is spying on you; it’s about how private you want to make content you choose to share.

Understandably, some organisations take to banning the centralised platforms outright, which given the privacy abuses is a sensible approach.  But with decentralised networks, you now have the freedom to dictate your own policy.

Control at many levels

Decentralised, federated social networks put control back in the hands of the user and node administrator – but some do this better than others.

For example, on Friendica when a user opts to delete all of his or her data, all of that data will be deleted.  For good.  As the backend database can be interrogated to check this, the node administrator has full power to validate this.  Friendica then sends a signal to all other (Friendica) networks with which that user has communicated, and those networks respond in kind by deleting any remote copies of her data too.

Other federated social networks vary in their abilities.

Theming with purpose

It’s entirely possibly to theme an open source social network platform to suit your brand.  In fact, it’s possible to take things a stage further and encourage clients, suppliers and other contacts to engage with you via the platform, too.

As private messaging is a key feature on most platforms, using it for key business communications makes a lot of sense.  Not only can the system be used in a quasi-CRM capacity, but it can also double as a marketing tool, internal announcement platform, a feed consumer for monitoring competitor activity, and so on.  This can be achieved without divulging your contact information publicly at any point, thus providing a single platform for many tasks.

The flexibility of social networks doesn’t compromise their security.  In fact, with some careful thought, your overall information security could be improved by using one.

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