First of all, even if you don’t like reading I recommend you read this post. This is not a post about the stupid things that people do on Facebook, in fact there are numerous websites dedicated to what is now known as Facebook FAIL mostly at Facebookfails, Failbook, Lamebook and Failblog . Anyway, this is more to do with the growing concerns regarding the information from everyone that Facebook has made available to the world. In fact I did write a post earlier about the 10 Golden Rules for using Facebook. However, Facebook is something that we always love and will not fail to use, not until a great alternative comes by, and trust there is one on the horizon.
This post is about protecting some of your information from peeping toms, online stalkers or just random people who you don’t want to show your pics when you were at that drunk party with that not so great looking guy or girl. First of all, you will ask me Why should we be concerned ? well the Register picked up a conversation from a few years back of Mark Zuckerberg, if you dont know who that is, it is the founder and the guy whose brain child Facebook was. The conversation goes as reported by the register goes like this :
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb fucks
The founder was then 19, and he may have been joking. But humor tells you a lot. Some might say that this exchange shows Zuckerberg was not particularly aware of the trust issue in all its depth and complexity. Facebook is currently in the spotlight for its relentlessly increasing exposure of data its users assumed was private. There is a nicely illustrated interactive graphic you can find here which shows the privacy concerns even better. In fact the privacy settings of Facebook have been rejected by the EU privacy watchdog, and this concern is seen increasingly around the inter webs to such as extent that people have come up with a Quit Facebook Day, on 31-May-2010.
First of all learn and get accustomed to the Privacy Settings
AllFacebook has prepared a lit of 10 things you would need to know in order to control your privacy settings on Facebook; like Understanding Friends Lists, Remove yourself from Facebook search, remove yourself from Google Search, Avoid the infamous Photo Tag mistake, Protect your photo album, Avoid the post breakup Facebook drama, Protect what information Applications can access, Protect your contact information and avoid embarrassing posts on your wall and keep friendships private. There is a page on their site that details the 10 settings and can be accessed here. However, here below is a video summary of everything that you need to know.
Find out about how much data Facebook posts about you online
This is not as difficult as you think it is, just Google yourself and you will see your Facebook profile, make sure you are not logged in and you can see the basic information that Facebook is sharing about you to even non Facebook users. If that is not shocking enough or if you are technically inclined, you can also check out this cool application by Developer Ka-Ping Yee that shows you exactly what information about you and your friends are available online.
Check for your privacy settings with Reclaim Privacy
The privacy settings on Facebook need to be checked for every person and the same needs to be applied. The various risks of Facebook would be contact information, friends, tags, connections and applications that have access to your information. You should consider checking this information and try to ensure that information that you dont want to share with unknown people be kept as it is. You can visit Reclaim Privacy and follow the instructions to check and tweek your Facebook settings.