Facebook May Not Be For Everyone
A few years ago I joined Facebook to write about privacy issues with their Beacon advertising system. I was quickly sucked in by the fun, convenience and easy ability to keep in touch with family and friends. I really enjoy the ability to share photos and even love to see vacation photos and cute babies from people I don’t really know in real life. While I am continuing to use Facebook, it may not be for everyone.
One of the aspects of Facebook I’ve never advocated are “applications”. While I appreciate the thought, don’t be hurt if I don’t accept your hugs, glitz, jewels, pets, drinks or farm animals. While this may be fun for millions it’s not why I use Facebook.
What most people don’t realize is that “Applications” aren’t part of Facebook. They’re created by 3rd party companies. When you agree to downloads an application, you share your info with a company which may have a completely different security and privacy terms as Facebook.
Everyone should keep in mind you don’t have to accept every request on Facebook. Of course, I’m against Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Cancer but I also won’t join a cause on Facebook which has access to my personal info. It’s ok to click on Ignore.
Here’s an example of your options on who you want having access to your personal info.
Some time ago I created a “Fans of WinPatrol” page and promoted it as a way to share WinPatrol news. I’m pleased to say that Fans of WinPatrol has hit 1000 today. I will continue to promote Fans of WinPatrol to those already using Facebook but I have stopped promoting it on WinPatrol.com and other related websites. “As a security vendor there are too many dangers on Facebook to advocate its use”.
Facebook isn’t by its nature a danger. The problem is anytime something is popular it becomes a target for the bad guys. Malware authors and privacy thieves have found fertile ground on Facebook for new tricks and methods to infect computers. It’s not uncommon for friends to have their password compromised and suddenly they become an unwitting accomplice in spreading malware. It can happen to very computer savvy users like Helen who quickly had to let her 2,866 friends know someone had her password.
The most important lesson here is even if one of your friends sends you a link to something “cool” you should always be skeptical.
Keep Personal Info to a Minimum
If you think only your friends will have access to your profile information think again. This week it was revealed in a simple video how easy it is to steal personal info.
Be smart with your password and don’t click on links that appear suspicious. I will continue to use Facebook. For me it’s too late anyway. I’ve been online for over 25 years and folks online know more about me than my family. “If you’re someone who worries about things like tracking cookies you probably don’t want to use Facebook.“