Our research shows that 41% of Facebook users will divulge personal information – such as email address, date of birth and phone number – to a complete stranger, greatly increasing their susceptibility to identity theft. In most cases, it was possible to access users’ family photos, information about likes/dislikes, hobbies, employer details and other personal facts – all information that could help a criminal guess someone’s password or impersonate them. Many more have made details of their friends and family freely available to millions of other Facebook users.
This is something I just don’t understand. Either people these days are becoming more comfortable sharing private information over the internet or people are just ignorant concerning the dangers of divulging too much information.
To aid people in keep their private stuff private, Sophos recommended the following:
Adjust Facebook privacy settings to help protect your identity
Unlike some other social networking sites, Facebook has provided some powerful options to protect you online – but it’s up to you to use them!
Think carefully about who you allow to become your friend
Once you have accepted someone as your friend they will be able to access any information about you (including photographs) that you have marked as viewable by your friends. You can remove friends at any time should you change your mind about someone.
Show “limited friends” a cut-down version of your profile
You can choose to make people ‘limited friends’ who only have access to a cut-down version of your profile if you wish. This can be useful if you have associates who you do not wish to give full friend status to, or feel uncomfortable sharing personal information with.
Disable options, then open them one by one
Think about how you want to use Facebook. If it’s only to keep in touch with people and be able to contact them then maybe it’s better to turn off the bells and whistles. It makes a lot of sense to disable an option until you have decided you do want and need it, rather than start with everything accessible.
Good tips, if you ask me. They have a walk-through to assist Facebook users in securing their profile. It’s very informative and I highly recommend parents, teachers and students take a look.
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Jesus Geek is a Christian technology podcast providing news, tips and information you can use in your homeschool, church or ministry. It is a member of the My Life Ministries Network: a community of ministries that views the everyday Christian life as a ministry and seeks to encourage Christians in their daily walk with Christ.