Zuckerburg: Privacy is No Longer a Social Norm

Monday, April 12, 2010

Theresa Payton

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Are you one of the over 350 Million people that use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family? 

According to Hitwise, Facebook briefly surpassed Google as the most visited site in the world during the Christmas season. 

The founder of Facebook said that privacy is no longer a social norm.

Facebook also recently changed how privacy settings work.  If you do not check these settings, you may be showing more about your personal life than you planned to.

Take this Quick Quiz:

Question 1:  True or False.  People who are not on your friend list on Facebook, can use a search engine and see your Facebook posts, including photos, even if they are not on your friend list on Facebook.

Answer:  True, anyone can see your Facebook posts, unless you change your privacy settings in Facebook – and - even then, some things are still not private.

Question 2:  True or False.  Even if my information is out there on the web, the chances of someone finding it are remote because only about 25% of people actually google search each other.

Answer:  False!  In a recent PEW study out of the 75% of all Americans that use the Internet, over 53% are Googling (or using a search engine) to look up each other! 

Test it For Yourself:

Go to your favorite search engine such as Yahoo.com, Google.com, or Bing.com and type in “Your Name, Facebook” and see what comes up as a test.  If your kids have profiles, check each one of theirs as well.

What You Need to Know Now:
 Facebook recently changed their privacy settings making your profile more open unless you lock it down.

If you read their company information carefully, Facebook considers what you post to be available to the public unless you tell them otherwise.

Zuckerberg said that “if he had created Facebook today…he would have made user information public, not private, by default as it was for years until the company changed it” 
What Has Changed? 

No place to hide:  You can no longer hide your name, networks, friends list, and pages that you are a “fan” of from being posted on your Facebook wall.

Too much information:  Facebook has recently enhanced its site to allow search engines to search your Facebook pages.  You may feel your privacy has been invaded if a prospective employer types in your name and up comes the entry you posted about a party you recently attended, in costume, with a drink in hand.

Your Secret is Out:  You may join a group that helps others looking for job opportunities, purely for research purposes, and it will be broadcast on your wall for your spouse, and maybe even boss and co-workers, to see!

Test Your Profile Privacy:

Go to your favorite search engine such as Yahoo.com, Google.com, or Bing.com and type in “Your Name, Facebook” and see what comes up as a test.  If your kids have profiles, check each one of theirs as well.

You and Your Profile:  Protect, Polish and PrivateNow is the perfect time to do a little housecleaning on your Facebook profile. The rule of thumb to manage what people can see about you is the 3 Ps:  Protect, Polish and Private. 
1.     Protect Your Friends:  Go to your settings where the Friends box is.  Make sure that “Show Friend List to Everyone” does not have a checkmark in it.
2.     Polish Your Profile:  Make sure that if your current or prospective boss sees your postings that you have put forward your best image.
3.     Private:  You can make each post private to your list of friends by clicking on the lock icon next to your posts. 

Other Steps You May Want to Take:
·    Photo Albums:  Choose Settings and pick the settings you are most comfortable with.  The “EVERYONE” setting is the most open.
·    Friends:  Choose “What your friends can share about you” and look at the check boxes.  Most privacy advocates recommend that you uncheck all the boxes.
·    Public Search:  Go to “Public Search Results”.  Where it says “Allow”, make sure you do not have a checkmark in that box if you do not want every search engine to pick your posts
·    Your Kids’ Profiles:  Be careful when your children reveal information that can identify them, such as a school team name, what sport they play, where they work or go to school, or the name of the town they live in.

Link to WBTV show on Facebook's new settings: 
http://www.wbtv.com/global/story.asp?s=11869049

 

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Cr00zng Around Facebook is juat as guilty for not protecting its members' privacy as the members themselves.
You did not list the most effective way of protecting your privacy from Facebook; just don't have a Facebook account. There are other ways keeping in touch with family, friends, etc. It's called visit, call, or email them, preferably in that order.
And by the way, entering "myrealname, facebook" in to Google resulted in couple of hits, but none were related to Facebook.
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Theresa Payton Cr00zng Around: Thanks for your comment. You are right, people can avoid social network accounts to protect their privacy. However, I talk to parents and grandparents who want to be on socnets because their kids / grandkids are.
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