Consumers being warned to protect their social media information from insurance companies

Social Networking InsuranceAs social media becomes a popular tool for the insurance industry for investigating claims and, at times, pricing insurance policies, consumers are being warned to watch what information they share on their favorite networking platforms. A new study from the Paw Research Center, a market research and trend analysis firm, shows that the majority of adults in the U.S. (64%) have an active social media presence. The study finds that a scant few of these people have any knowledge on how to protect the information they share on these platforms from prying eyes.

Nonetheless, the report notes that people are making more effort to protect their privacy from companies that might use their own information against them. Consumers have been running into problems, however, because they are having trouble understanding the privacy controls on some social media sites. As such, consumers often do not know what information they share is hidden or open to the public.

Social media has been a popular target for investigation units of insurance companies because these units have seen success in exploiting the information on these sites to battle insurance fraud. Some believe that this is infringement on their right to privacy, but insurers claim that if the information is shared publicly using it in investigation is not a privacy issue. Pew’s report notes that despite the general concern people have over insurers exploiting the privacy settings of social media sites, few people are concerned enough to give the issue a great deal of time.

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