Privacy, Security and Identity theft

What is Facebook really doing with your information?

by Cheryl Baumgartner Independent Associate with LegalShield
Cheryl Baumgartner Professional   Independent Associate with...
Ah Facebook.  We all love Facebook!  Who doesn't have a Facebook account now?  Well maybe your great-great grandmother.  After all she's still trying to figure out that newfangled invention called a cell phone!  All jokes aside do you realize that a large part of Facebook's business model is based on the information you put there?
Perhaps you should read this article, Facebook is being used to harvest information on you.  Someone can locate your user ID just from your email address.  And then what else can they find out?  Well depending on your settings:*Your Full Name*The city you live in*Your Birthdate
Hmmm any halfway knowledgeable ID thief with access to people search programs like Acme Search and a credit card now has everything he needs to steal your identity, access to all of your personal information.
Facebook is the giant but not the only social site out there.  This is another avenue that can lead to grief, so lower your risk:1. Terminate all inactive profiles.  If you aren't active on a site have that account closed and your information removed.
2. Choose the highest privacy options that you can.  If possible opt out of the sharing of your information
3. Stay away from those 'free' offers attached to different Applications.  Many games on Facebook and other networks have special 'in game' currencies like the "respect points" with Mafia Wars.  These points are used to purchase items within the game. You can whip out your credit/debit card and buy them or complete 'free offers' to get them.  These free offers are nothing more than a way to get your information in most cases.  If you have to have the 'respect points either buy them outright or just collect and save them up in the game.
4. Check your child's social network settings and make sure that they are also set on the highest setting.
Dec 15th 2010 07:54
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Comments

Dawie Bezuidenhout Professional   Systems Engineer I.T.
Well Cheryl, all i can say is you know what happened to me about a month ago.
And to Top it off, Facebook support SUCKS big time. If your account gets hacked, you might as well write it off.

Be careful people, that is all i can say. Facebook is crawling with Hackers and Scammers, don't befriend every Tom, Dick and Harry because some Guru told you this is a good way of building a list.
Dec 15th 2010 08:06   
Philippe Moisan Magnate II Premium   APSense, Video Marketing Champions
I wonder what a good friend thinks of that, he's selling me the advantages of using FB especially FanPages for business success
Dec 15th 2010 08:09   
Cheryl Baumgartner Professional   Independent Associate with LegalShield
At the very least your profile details should only be shared with friends
Dec 15th 2010 08:12   
Cheryl Baumgartner Professional   Independent Associate with LegalShield
The software is supposed to be used for business and not be sold but does that stop anyone? Nope never have and never will.
Dec 15th 2010 08:15   
Helen Smith Committed   Consultant
I can't say that I am surprised, because everything you do online requires information. My email box which surpasses over 1200 emails a day is evidence. At any rate Cheryl, facebook has done a complete 360 on what it was designed for. I recognized the possibilities when my 18 yr. old niece showed it to me 5 or more years ago(lol). Now it is no longer a platform for students to stay in touch, it is a revenue sucking monster. I know some people who have 5 accounts with 5,000 people in each one. It may be valuable to some, but I personally don't care to much for it. I don't think I want that many people searching around in my life.
Dec 15th 2010 09:06   
Cheryl Baumgartner Professional   Independent Associate with LegalShield
I know what you mean Helen. It is why anyone searching for me on Facebook will come to my profile and get the message that I only share my information with certain people.

If you go to your account page and then to privacy, Make sure that you set each section to only share with friends. The default setting on Facebook in every area is "Everyone". You can also create blocked lists that will prevent certain individuals from reading or posting to your wall.
Dec 15th 2010 09:11   
Mark Barczak Committed   Desiner
Yes I agree but sometimes if you have open account to everyone you can find a chance for the rest of your life. Personally for me it is not a problem to delete to many e-mails
Dec 15th 2010 09:17   
Mark Barczak Committed   Desiner
Always you can make the groups and select friends to put in to proper place. Of course you can set a security separate to anyone.
Dec 15th 2010 09:19   
Cheryl Baumgartner Professional   Independent Associate with LegalShield
This is not about receiving emails but giving scammers, hackers and identity thieves free access to your information. The information that many of us have on our profiles not only put us at risk but also may put our friends and families at risk also. How many people have that area showing links to their relatives?
Dec 15th 2010 09:22   
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