Tag Archive for: facebook privacy

How to Disable Facebook Places

Last week Facebook introduced a new location tracking application called Facebook Places. This gives users the ability to check in with Facebook from their mobile device and update their friends (and even tag their friends) on where they are. What many Facebook users don’t realize is that this tool is currently activated by default, and in order to turn it off, users have to go in and adjust their privacy settings. Until you do that, your friends can check you in to different locations (and you may not even be there!).

Here is the step by step process to disable Facebook Places:

1. Log into your Facebook account, and at the top right drop down menu under Account click Privacy Settings.Once you are in Privacy Settings you will see this screen:

2. Click Custom (if that isn’t your selection already) and then click below 0n Customize Settings.

3. You should see the following screen, where you will need to make 2 changes – first, to Things I share and then to Things others share. Under Things I share click on the drop-down box next to Places I check in to click custom and chose to make this visible to  Only Me.

5. Scroll down on the Customize page to Things others share:

Under Things others share click Disabled to the right of Friends can check me in to Places.

One More Thing…

There is one last step you should take. You need to adjust one last setting that allows third-party applications (such as quizzes and games) used by your friends to access your location data. Facebook makes it difficult by stating that you only need to “uncheck the new box in your Privacy Settings under “Applications and Websites.” Facebook should have specified which box they were talking about, and they should NOT have turned this on by default. Alas, in reality, we’re not working with what Facebook should do, but what we must do to turn off data leakage.

Go back to the main privacy page (above) and under the heading, “Applications and Websites.”click on “Edit your settings.” You should now be looking at a screen similar to the one below. Click on the “Edit Settings” button across from “Info accessible through your friends.”

You should see a pop-up window (like the one below) that lists a variety of identity information from your profile including biography, birthday, hometown, current city, and so forth. Any of these items that are checked off are available to third-party applications used by your friends.

Find the checkbox called “Places I check in to,” and uncheck it (if you don’t want third-party applications that your friends use to harvest your check-in data). While you are here, uncheck any other data that you don’t want your friends sharing with corporate America.

TIP: Third-party applications you use personally can gather your geographic data only if you authorize that application to do so. The downside is that if you don’t want an application to access your location data then you won’t be able to use that application.

These steps will help tighten your security and minimize the amount of location tracking data that is stored and shared. Facebook, however, will always reserve the right to collect and utilize this data internally, but that’s the price you pay for using Facebook. Although this disables Facebook Places now, it is best to stay current on the changes that Facebook is making and always check your privacy settings to make sure that you are protected.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Security Speakers. You can learn more about Facebook Safety and how to protect yourself online here. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

Facebook Hits 500 Million Users: 3rd Largest Country

Facebook has the Population of the Third Largest Country

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 marked a big day for Facebook. CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg announced in a blog post that the social networking website hit over 500 million users in only 6 years.

If you take a look at the worlds largest countries in terms of population (as of today according to Wikipedia) you find that China is #1 with 1,339,130,000, India is #2 with 1,184,513,000 and #3 is the United States with only 309,944,000. This would mean that if Facebook were a real country with their population of 500,000,000, then it would clearly surpass the USA for the #3 ranking.

Many believe that Facebook will hit a billion users in less than a year by looking the rapid growth they have encountered since their founding.  With their fast expansion the privacy issues on the website keep mounting as well. Make sure when you are using Facebook you are using it with the best possible protections – your common sense. Click here to learn more on Facebook Safety for users and parents of users.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Experts after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. John’s latest book Privacy Means Profit, hit stands August 9, 2010 and bridges the gap between personal identity theft and corporate data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

Facebook Installs a Panic Button for Children

According to a recent Yahoo! article, Facebook has created a new “Panic Button” for London users to help protect children on the social networking site. This new function gives the youngsters the ability to easily report a problem or suspicious activity to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and Facebook.

The Panic Button will automatically appear on the homepage of users between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. Recently Facebook has been scrutinized because of their relaxed privacy controls and lack of protection for all users, including children. This marks another effort by Facebook  to attempt to calm users concerns and team up with other organizations to offer protection to younger participants. In the US, Facebook is teaming up with the Parent Teacher Association to help keep children informed and safe while using the website.

Facebook vice-president Joanna Shields added: “There is no single silver bullet to making the Internet safer but by joining forces with CEOP we have developed a comprehensive solution which marries our expertise in technology with CEOP’s expertise in online safety”.

It is important to be educated when dealing with any form of social media or social networking website. You should know the ins and outs, pros and cons, risks and rewards to using these online tools.  For more information on Facebook Safety and protecting your children online, check out our Facebook Safety Survival Guide.

Read the Entire Article: Facebook installs ‘panic button’ for children

John Sileo is the award-winning author of Stolen Lives, Privacy Means Profit and the Facebook Safety Survival Guide. His professional speaking clients include the Department of Defense, the FTC, FDIC, Pfizer, Prudential and hundreds of other organizations that care about their information privacy. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.

Are Your Kids Safe Online?

As a parent you are often worried about what your kids are being exposed to on the Internet. Apparently so are Facebook and the PTA. They have teamed up to teach parents and children about responsible Internet use. They plan to cover cyber-bullying, internet safety and security and “citizenship online,” according to a news release.

“Nothing is more important to us than the well-being of the people, especially the many teenagers, who use Facebook,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer.

Facebook is the number one social media site with over 500 million users and a minimum age requirement of 13. Even that requirement can be easily fudged because Facebook has no way of verifying a user’s age besides asking for their birth date when they register. Parents are having trouble deciding whether to let their children join Facebook prematurely and what they should be cautious of if they do so.

Learn more on Protecting Your Children Online.

It is important to be educated when dealing with any form of social media or social networking website. Social networking is immensely powerful and is here for the long run, but we must learn to harness and control it. You should know the ins and outs, pros and cons, risks and rewards to using these online tools. Because teens and children don’t necessarily have the life experiences to recognize the risks, parents must educate themselves and pass that knowledge on with open and honest discussions on Facebook and Online Safety.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Experts after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

Facebook Safety Survival Guide

Introducing the Newest Guide to Protect you & your family’s identity:

Facebook Safety
Survival Guide

Includes the

Parents’ Guide to Online Safety

Order your copy Today to get our special introductory pricing of $12.95 or order the Ebook below for only $9.95 !

There is no final word on how to use Facebook safely. Here’s why: social networking and the web change too quickly. The social network you use today is not the same one you will use tomorrow or next month. The privacy settings, functionality, connectability and features are constantly evolving, which means that almost no one has a handle on every aspect of this topic. Those who tell you that they have the final answer are probably selling you something you shouldn’t buy.

This Survival Guide is an evolving document that I started writing for my young daughters and my employees, and is an attempt to give you a snapshot of some of the safety and privacy issues as they exist right now. Social networking, texting, instant messaging, video messaging, blogging – these are all amazing tools that our kids and employees use natively, as part of their everyday lives. In fact, they probably understand social networking better than most adults and executives. But they don’t necessarily have the life experiences to recognize the risks. I’d like to make their online vigilance and discretion just as native, so that they learn to protect the personal information they put on the web before it becomes a problem. Social networking is immensely powerful and is here for the long run, but we must learn to harness and control it.

So whether you are reading this to help protect your own online presence, or the reputation and sensitive data inside of your business, or to bulletproof your kids from some of the harmful forces on the web, the Facebook Safety Survival Guide should get you started.

This Facebook Safety Guide includes:

  • Action Item Checklist for Facebook Safety
  • Action Item Checklist for Parents’ Guide to Online Safety

Part I: Facebook Safety Survival Guide

  • Protecting People We Care About
  • Social Networking’s Secret Weapon: Trust
  • Fifteen Hazards of Social Networking
  • Fifteen Steps to Safer Facebooking
  • 10 Types of Information to Keep Private
  • Customize Your Privacy Settings: Control Who Can See Your Personal Information & A Tool to Test Your Facebook Privacy
  • How Do I Delete My Facebook Account?
  • How To Deactivate Your Facebook Account
  • How To Delete Your Facebook Account

Part II: Parents’ Guide to Online Safety

  • Socializing Online: Sexting & Cyberbullying
  • Communicating Online & Phishing
  • Mobile Phones: Socializing and Communicating on the Go & Texting
  • Protect Your Computers: P2P File Sharing & Parental Controls

© Copyright 2010 John D. Sileo All Rights Reserved

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Experts after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

 

You are Facebook's Inventory

This quote by Daniel Lyons in Newsweek establishes exactly why Facebook drags it’s feet on privacy. Why write more when he has summarized it so eloquently (emphasis mine)?

The most important thing to understand about Facebook is that you are not Facebook’s customer, you are its inventory. You are the product Facebook is selling. Facebook’s real customers are advertisers. You, as a Facebook member, are useful only because you can be packaged up and sold to advertisers. The more information Facebook can get from you, the more you are worth.

Read the full Newsweek article: Who Needs Friends Like Facebook?.

Order the Facebook Safety Survival Guide to make sure you and your children are protected online.

Facebook Changes Compromise Your Privacy

As of last week, Facebook has added two new ways that you can connect to things you care about. The problem with these changes is that they takes away the user’s ability to control who can see these connections. The first change made is the addition of Community Pages described by Facebook:

Community Pages are a new type of Facebook Page dedicated to a topic or experience that is owned collectively by the community connected to it. Just like official Pages for businesses, organizations, and public figures, Community Pages let you connect with others who share similar interests and experiences.

The addition of these new pages mean that certain parts of your profile, “including your current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests” will now be transformed into “connections,” meaning that they will be shared publicly. If you don’t want these parts of your profile to be made public, your only option is to delete them.

The second change that they made is More Connected Profiles, which links personal information about yourself, such as your likes and interests, favorite books, music and movies, to other users with the same personal information. Facebook explains it like this:

Now, certain parts of your profile, including your current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests, will contain “connections.” Instead of just boring text, these connections are actually Pages, so your profile will become immediately more connected to the places, things and experiences that matter to you.

The issue is not that they force you to link your interests without permission and then leak your personal information, but rather that they remove an option to include such information to only your friends – without links. You can manage and remove connections, control the visibility, or opt-out, but you can not include the information without it being public knowledge. So it’s all or nothing.

Facebook has added a post – Connecting to Everything you Care About –  on their blog with details of these new changes. Make sure that you know what is on your Facebook Page and what is visible to your friends and everyone on Facebook. Visit Facebook’s Privacy Page for more information and always remember – Posts are Public, Permanent, and Exploitable!

UPDATE: Read Facebook Reacts to Senators Concerns on CNN about a letter sent to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and Founder, by Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Al Franken of Minnesota addressing the recent changes with regard to users privacy.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Experts after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

CNN Article: Job-Seekers Hide Facebook Profiles

Young job-seekers are hiding their Facebook pages.

In today’s economic climate, more and more individuals are searching for jobs. Many job-seekers are just beginning to realize that managers looking to hire them can easily Google their name to find Facebook profiles, tweet history and vast quantities of online information that they would probably rather keep a bit more private.  This is even more prevalent with recent college graduates who are entering the job market for the first time. With tough competition from so many qualified candidates, employers are turning to Facebook to help them sift through resumes. While some profiles are innocent, many have pictures, posts, and more that could possibly disqualify them from getting a job before they even walk into the interview. A new article by CNN discusses how more and more job-seekers are choosing to hide their Facebook profiles by changing their names (assuming an Alias, in spy terms) in order to keep a clean digital image of themselves on the web.

Remember when it comes to anything on the internet – Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Myspace, blogs, or anything you post online –  all Posts are Public, Permanent, and Exploitable. While changing your name on your Facebook profile is a quick fix, you should really be aware and limit the type of material that you choose to expose. Read the privacy and security settings and adjust them to best protect your online presence.

Read the entire CNN Article: Young Job-Seekers Hiding their Facebook Profiles

Order your copy of the Facebook Safety Survival Guide to make sure you and your children are protected online.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Experts after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

Facebook Privacy: Hide from Google

facebook_privacyThe New York Times recently published an article that discusses the severe changes Facebook has made to privacy settings. This is the last post on these changes and each post gives you details on how to manage these new settings so that you can gradually accumulate your Facebook Privacy.

What Can Google See? (Keep Your Data Off the Search Engines)

When you visit Facebook’s Search Settings page, a warning message pops up. Apparently, Facebook wants to clear the air about what info is being indexed by Google. The message reads:

There have been misleading rumors recently about Facebook indexing all your information on Google. This is not true. Facebook created public search listings in 2007 to enable people to search for your name and see a link to your Facebook profile. They will still only see a basic set of information.

While that may be true to a point, the second setting listed on this Search Settings page refers to exactly what you’re allowing Google to index. If the box next to “Allow” is checked, you’re giving search engines the ability to access and index any information you’ve marked as visible by “Everyone.” As you can see from the settings discussed above, if you had not made some changes to certain fields, you would be sharing quite a bit with the search engines…probably more information than you were comfortable with. To keep your data private and out of the search engines, do the following:

  1. From your Profile page, hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the top right and click “Privacy Settings” from the list that appears.
  2. Click “Search” from the list of choices on the next page.
  3. Click “Close” on the pop-up message that appears.
  4. On this page, uncheck the box labeled “Allow” next to the second setting “Public Search Results.” That keeps all your publicly shared information (items set to viewable by “Everyone”) out of the search engines. If you want to see what the end result looks like, click the “see preview” link in blue underneath this setting.

Read more from the New York Times article that discusses the Facebook settings that every user should be aware of. Be proactive about what you share on Facebook and protect your online privacy!

Read The first 2 articles –

Facebook Privacy: Videos, Photos, and Status Updates

Facebook Privacy: Your Personal Info

Order your copy of the Facebook Safety Survival Guide to make sure you and your children are protected online.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

Facebook Privacy: Your Personal Info

facebook_privacyThe New York Times recently published an article that discusses the severe changes Facebook has made to privacy settings. This is the second post on these changes and each post will give you details on how to manage these new settings so that you can gradually accumulate your Facebook Privacy.

Who Can See Your Personal Info?

Facebook has a section of your profile called “personal info,” but it only includes your interests, activities, and favorites. Other arguably more personal information is not encompassed by the “personal info” setting on Facebook’s Privacy Settings page. That other information includes things like your birthday, your religious and political views, and your relationship status.

After last month’s privacy changes, Facebook set the new defaults for this other information to viewable by either “Everyone” (for family and relationships, aka relationship status) or to “Friends of Friends” (birthday, religious and political views). Depending on your own preferences, you can update each of these fields as you see fit. However, we would bet that many will want to set these to “Only Friends” as well. To do so:

  1. From your Profile page, hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the top right and click “Privacy Settings” from the list that appears.
  2. Click “Profile Information” from the list of choices on the next page.
  3. The third, fourth, and fifth item listed on this page are as follows: “birthday,” “religious and political views,” and “family and relationship.” Locking down birthday to “Only Friends” is wise here, especially considering information such as this is often used in identity theft.
  4. Depending on your own personal preferences, you may or may not feel comfortable sharing your relationship status and religious and political views with complete strangers. And keep in mind, any setting besides “Only Friends” is just that – a stranger. While “Friends of Friends” sounds innocuous enough, it refers to everyone your friends have added as friends, a large group containing hundreds if not thousands of people you don’t know. All it takes is one less-than-selective friend in your network to give an unsavory person access to this information.

Read more from the New York Times article that discusses the Facebook settings that every user should be aware of. Be proactive about what you share on Facebook and protect your online privacy!

Order your copy of the Facebook Safety Survival Guide to make sure you and your children are protected online.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Social Networking Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.