Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Internet Security and Facebook

A few days ago,  friend posted a copied message as her status on Facebook.  It had to do with what Facebook was sharing with third parties without our knowledge.
This was the status message:

"As of today, there is a NEWPRIVACY setting called "Instant Personalization" that shares data with non-Facebook websites and it is automatically set to "Allow." Go toAccount > Privacy Settings > Applications and Websites. and then uncheck the box."

Basically, they had chosen to automatically check a box in the privacy settings that information could be shared about you with third parties when you visit their sites.  Scary!!  

I'll be honest, after Facebook changed the policy about what information belonged to them without telling people last year, I have been wary and cautious about what I post.  I do not go to any applications.  I do not play any games.  The email posted on my page is not my primary email.

Then, this afternoon I read an article in World Magazine that gave me more cause to be cautious.  Basically, the gist of the article is that if you have Facebook open and click on a link that opens a new tab, then Facebook follows you and stores that information.  Also, all the pages you have listed as your favorites, or that you are a fan of are now public.  Public information includes your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, friend list, and pages.

There is a way to check what is shared publicly from your facebook profile.
Go to the Account tab.  Then Check your privacy settings.  Check each setting (including friends, tags, and connections and applications.  You can see how your profile appears to non-friends by clicking on preview my profile at the top of the friends, tags, and connections privacy page.

Google Buzz has similar privacy issues.  I reading a book about blogging a month or two ago and the author advocated integrating twitter, facebook, email, and your blogs into one interface.  The biggest problem I saw with doing that was giving another party access to all that information.  

There was also an additional note about digital copiers manufactured since 2002.  These copiers have hard drives and store all information that you have copied using them.  So, if you need to copy personal documents, use a copier/printer at home, but not a commercial copier!

I just wanted to share this in case you hadn't heard about it.

Thanks World for posting that article in this week's issue!

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