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Teens Increasingly Use Unsafe Instagram Business Accounts

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Teen users of Instagram are increasingly switching to business accounts to get better metrics about their posts. These accounts show how many times posts have been viewed, at what times their posts are being viewed, who likes their posts and how many likes and views they’re getting.  Sounds great, but according to Facebook, which owns Instaram, business account holders are required to make their email and phone number available to the public.  When a teen is involved that’s a problem.

Alex Meron-McCann from the cyber security firm McAfee, warns of serious consequences for teens who share personal information by using business account.  Alex is especially concerned about sexual predators contacting kids through these accounts.

Data Scientist David Stier tells us that millions of teenagers have switched to business accounts; he also emphasized that if a 13-year-old develops a business account their contact information is available to over a billion people. A Facebook spokesperson explains that their set up process warns users that their contact information will be available to the public if they switch to a business account. Is this feature enough to keep a generation of young people safe?  Given fair warning, is Facebook responsible if someone blows through warning and misuses their platform?

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