Posts Tagged ‘ Facebook ’

Facebook Security and Privacy: Ten Reminders to Live By

Facebook is arguably the largest social network on the globe, and because of that there are security and privacy issues that users need to remember. Here is a list of ten reminders to consider.

A reminder of why users need to be on guard when using Facebook arose during the Week of May 3, when users of the social network discovered that they were being permitted to view their friends’ private chat conversations. The loophole was quickly fixed by the folks over at Facebook, but users’ concerns about privacy issues remain.

A few months prior to the May 3 incident, some Facebook users received private messages that were meant for other users. Facebook acted similarly in this case, swiftly addressing the problem, but once again privacy advocates began to question whether Facebook was taking enough measures to protect data.

Facebook has maintained that these minor glitches are fixed quickly, and users must remember that it is nearly impossible for a social network service with over 400 million active users to deliver absolute data security 100 percent of the time. When joining Internet social networks, users need to expect their personal data to be vulnerable to a certain degree and make it their duty to maintain personal privacy and security on a social network.

Ten reminders to live by:

1. Privacy Concerns

There are legitimate privacy concerns that users need to be aware of in order to understand the issues that may arise when using Facebook. As soon as you acknowledge that Facebook isn’t without flaws, you can begin to safeguard your data. Once you have a better understanding of privacy on the Web, you can alter the way in which you use social networks.

2. Holes

The ways in which hackers find way to target Facebook’s users increases as the site becomes more and more popular. One of these malicious hackers’ tactics employs a phishing scam that asks users to input their credentials into a faux Facebook look-alike. Once a user does so, hackers have access to their log-in information and can alter that person’s profile and send that information to others.

3. Only Offer What You Want Others to See

Third parties can only see the information that you put on the social network. This seems simple, but it is an important thing to remember. Facebook is a place where users can communicate with friends, and some users use it as a platform to reveal things that they should not. It is important for users to remember that what they intend to share to a smaller group may eventually be able to be accessed by others.

4. Facebook is Meant for Adults

Facebook originated as an online space for college students, but as the social network expanded it began to include generations above and below the collegiate level … meaning kids. It is important to remember that the Web remains a dangerous place for kids and that if adults are concerned about privacy then it isn’t a safe place for children.

5. Use the Facebook Privacy Settings

It is important to change your privacy settings before using Facebook. Even critics find that Facebook’s privacy settings to be robust in the world of social networking. Users can decide which people are permitted to see the content in their profiles within a few minutes of reviewing the site’s settings. Facebook highlights the importance of privacy and equips users with the tools to feel comfortable on the social network.

6. Be Weary of Sharing Sensitive Information on the Web

The Web may have been a bastion of anonymity years ago, but that era is over. Users share more and more information on sites like Facebook and as a result the desire for anonymity has gradually diminished. Users need to remember that the Internet isn’t the place to disclose sensitive information and consequently only share what they are comfortable with all Web users seeing.

7. Is Privacy Best for a Social Network?

Facebook’s default settings make certain information available to others, thus it isn’t in a social network’s best interest for users to be able to use every single privacy setting. Users will need to be more diligent because the more information that they share on a social network, the more likely people are to want to use it. This fact is already known by Facebook, MySpace and Google and users need to know it too and begin fighting back.

8. Alternatives Aren’t Immune to Security Issues

Facebook alternatives aren’t any better in terms of privacy and security issues. Google Buzz, for example, has been a target by privacy advocates since its beginnings, with critics wondering why Google didn’t implement the right policies from the beginning. Facebook comes out on top when comparing all privacy on all the major social networks and consequently is probably the best choice for users concerned with privacy.

9. Some Privacy Is Lost and Gone

As users continue to reveal their true identities, the days of anonymity on the Web are numbered (if not gone completely). While many are uncomfortable with this, many users are becoming more comfortable with this fact. Web users can expect their names a maybe even a picture to be available on the Web when signing up for social networks. Information such as their hometown and college is also freely available. Absolute privacy is a thing of the past and users need to accept this fact.

10. Blame Can Be Placed on Facebook and Users Alike

While Facebook is an easy scapegoat for privacy woes, a large part of the blame can be placed on users. Facebook relies on users sharing information with others as its basic business model, and while it does attempt to maintain privacy, it is up to the users to control what information they choose to divulge. Additionally, it is incumbent upon users to educate themselves about the risks that could affect then if they don’t brush up on privacy and social networks. To learn more please visit