Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Facebook gets too personal?

First, it always surprises me when someone is shocked to find that their personal information is so very easy to locate on the internet.  If this is a shock to you as you are reading this, try googling your home address.  I think you will be floored by what you see.  The first time I did this I was faced with a 360 degree walk around of my house!  Wowee!  Talk about feeling invaded.  Now, I completely understand that my personal information is out there for others to see – even if I had nothing to do with putting it out there to be seen!  My personal information being made available is beyond my control.  My phone and address are out there just as yours are.  Why are you shocked this information has been published for years in our local telephone directory.   

Facebook is a leader in finding out stuff about people and ‘putting it out there’ for the world to see.  The other night I googled the name of a child and what I found were the child’s facebook comments. 

I think a very good rule of thumb is that if you don’t want someone else to read it or look at it (such as posts and personal photos) then do not post it on the internet.  Know who you are talking to and do not just accept just anybody’s friend request. 

My daughter uses FB.  She is young and we are very watchful of how she uses her account.  One of the first things she and I did together was to create a FAKE facebook account.  One where the name  was that of a popular kids star, with their picture and information about them from a magazine.  Now WHY on earth would we do something like that?  Because I used it as an educational tool to show my daughter how easy it was on FB to present yourself as anyone you wanted to be.  With that the knowledge that the person she was chatting with is not at all the famous actor she thinks she is friends with – in this case it’s really her mom proving a point.  The scary point is that it might not be the famous person or you mom but the scary person that wants to prey on little unsuspecting people.  

BTW we deleted out fake account but parents need to be sure that their children understand the stranger dangers involved in the FB community.  It is not just FB, your children need to be taught to think smartly and safely wherever they are interacting with others on the internet.

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Regarding child safety and facebook I have found the following article from http://www.reuters.com/

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Facebook launches child safety application:

The application, which follows a long campaign by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), appears on a user's profile page when they add or bookmark it and allows children and teenagers to report suspicious or inappropriate behavior.

Particularly aimed at users aged 13 to 18, it also provides help, advice and support about staying safe online.

"We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online," said Jim Gamble, chief executive of CEOP, adding that the application should provide reassurance to parents whose teenagers use the site.

An automatic message will appear on the Facebook homepage of all teenage users, inviting them to add the application.

Pressure to introduce such measures intensified toward the end of last year after 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a man posing as a teenager whom she had met through Facebook.

"Together we have developed a new way of helping young people stay safe online," Joanna Shields, Facebook's vice president for Europe, Middle-East and Africa, said of the link-up.

"It is only through the constant and concerted efforts of the industry, police, parents and young people themselves that we can all keep safe online."

This article was dated: Mon Jul 12, 2010

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Let’s look at some ways to be safe on FB:  This information comes to us from http://www.surfnetkids.com It gives a very good explanation of what FB is – for anyone who may be reading this and wondering what we are talking about.  Additionally, it discusses some known issues and ways to make your children's FB profiles private.

Facebook, a popular social networking site, provides people with a chance to get in touch with old friends and meet new ones. Reconnecting with old friends allows you the opportunity to catch up with each other. However, be careful not to share too much information online, especially if your Facebook account is visible to everybody.

You may have heard about “Facebook stalking”, a problem that came about as a result of individuals posting private information on their Facebook pages and not making their pages private. Setting your profile to private and making your pictures private as well will also protect against online stalkers.

When you set your pictures to “Friends only”, Facebook surfers can’t access your pictures. There may be instances where they can see pictures of you on Facebook but this is usually because you are tagged in some pictures that are from another person’s profile. As long as you set all of your pictures to be viewed by “Friends only”, they’re safe from the prying eyes of strangers.

Another reason why people often set the security level on their pictures to “Friends only” is to prevent potential employers, or their current employer, from viewing private photos and using the pictures against them. People have lost their jobs because of incriminating pictures posted on the internet. Whether you’re partying and having a good time, drinking or participating in risque behavior, protecting your privacy by setting your pictures to privates is best.

There are some other things you can do to keep your personal information and your pictures private on Facebook. Here are some suggestions keeping your Facebook profile and pictures private:

  1. Never accept a friend invitation from a person you do not know. You can report the person to Facebook as “spam” because you do not know them. This helps the social media site to weed out a few of the accounts that are from spammers and should not be on Facebook.
  2. Increase your security level so only your friends can gain access to your profile. While some internet surfers will be able to see that you do have a Facebook account, they won’t be able to find out anything else about you because your profile is set to private.
  3. Use a generic profile picture. You don’t want to have a picture of your children on Facebook if you are concerned for your safety or their safety. Try using one picture so people can find you and leave it the same. Changing your profile picture often will spark people to comment on it and it may spark online surfers to take notice of your account. Keeping a boring profile picture is a simple way to protect yourself and your children.


Here is a blog posted today on a favorite web site of mine named: www.howtogeek.com This is their take on FB Apps:

Just when you thought things might have settled down, Facebook has once again taken a step that could put more of your personal information at risk. Going forward third party app developers will now have the opportunity to access your home address and mobile phone number information.

Photo by Facebook.

fb access

The first thing to keep in mind is that this access is not automatic…anyone installing an app will need to allow said app to access that information. So if you are someone who keeps their privacy settings locked down nicely and are careful about the apps that you install, then you should be fine.

The real problem comes in when you consider app developers who are unscrupulous and seek to spread malware and/or gather as much personal information as possible through trickery.

From the Sophos blog post: Facebook is already plagued by rogue applications that post spam links to users’ walls, and point users to survey scams that earn them commission – and even sometimes trick users into handing over their cellphone numbers to sign them up for a premium rate service.

Now, shady app developers will find it easier than ever before to gather even more personal information from users. You can imagine, for instance, that bad guys could set up a rogue app that collects mobile phone numbers and then uses that information for the purposes of SMS spamming or sells on the data to cold-calling companies.

The ability to access users’ home addresses will also open up more opportunities for identity theft, combined with the other data that can already be extracted from Facebook users’ profiles.

Now combine the unscrupulous app developers with people who do not take the time to think about the implications of installing questionable apps simply because they are in a hurry to start “enjoying” those shiny new apps. It is not a pleasant thought when you think of the number of people who may have their personal information compromised over this.

Many of us know someone who seems to attract trouble like a magnet due to unsafe internet practices. If you do, then pass this information on to them with the advice to be more careful. You just may save that person (or people) a lot of headaches later. And if you have not reviewed the settings in your Facebook account recently, then this is a good time to go back through and check them.

Something to keep in mind: Neither post mentioned how this is handled with apps already installed to user accounts, so you may be asked for permission by them going forward. There is also the possibility that if you already have an app installed, then permission is considered as “automatically” given.

This article came from www.howtogeek.com – I suggest you give them a read if you enjoy what you see here. 



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Like this example I found on a fellow bloggers site, he writes:

Did you know Starbucks is all about dating? Neither did I. :)

See, I use Facebook. And I go to Starbucks often. Awhile ago I signed up for a Facebook app related to Starbucks. The other day I was informed of the following:

Thanks for using My Starbucks. We are excited to announce that, as of next week, My Starbucks’s name and functionality will be changed to SpeedDate. Data entered into the original app won’t be used anymore. Soon you’ll be able to try SpeedDate, the fastest way to meet new people, so stay tuned!

My Starbucks

It’s for reasons like this that I have trimmed down the use of Facebook applications to 0

If you’d like to read the entire blog you can find it here:  http://smartpeopleiknow.wordpress.com   


Need help setting up your Facebook account?  Simply Seniors Computer Tutor is here for you.  Meet people you have not seen in years, share photos and video with your loved ones.  Computer Tutor is here to help!  Call Simply Seniors Computer Tutor 321-431-3866

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