In my previous post (http://randythetechprofessor.com/be-aware-of-facebook) I told you that I thought Facebook was exciting but that it scared me. What I actually mean is that Facebook users scare me. As a Facebook user I’m no expert (I’ve only had an account for about two months and I don’t use it much), but as a Facebook investigator I have spent hours studying the Facebook security/privacy settings (default and options) and that is why Facebook scares me. ID fraudsters will “eat you alive”, people you don’t know will harvest information about you, photos of you will suddenly appear on the internet and much more. Today, the problem.
Here are just some of the things that I have found:
1) you will instantly reveal personal information to potential identity thieves.
2) photos and videos will be posted that in the future may be embarrassing to you.
3) criminals will see what you are doing minute-by-minute and use this information for their benefit.
4) people you have never met will know at all times whether you’re on-line or not.
5) you will give unknown members of the Facebook community access to your friends list and provide them with additional data about you, which could assist them in identity fraud.
6) the entire Facebook community will see personal information that has been published on your wall by yourself and others.
7) all Facebook users will know your contact details (real address, website address, email, phone number).
8) the world will be able to find you on Facebook using external search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN.
9) you will unwittingly be revealing your profile when an identity thief attempts to “friend request” you, and you respond with a message asking “Do I know you?”.
10) applications will allow profile information to be be shared with the application’s author.
Scary stuff right? But fear not! In my next post (Monday Nov. 2) I’ll teach you what you can do to stay safe and protected. The sky is not falling!!
Professor Randy says: Facebook can be challenging but don’t be paralyzed! Allow the challenges of Facebook to help you discover how to use and enjoy it.