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Facebook Changes Compromise Your Privacy

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Facebook Privacy: Videos, Photos and Status Updates

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facebook_privacyThe New York Times recently published an article that discusses the severe changes Facebook has made to privacy settings. Each post will give you details on how to manage these new settings and I will break these three topics up so that you can gradually accumulate your Facebook Privacy.

Who Can See The Things You Share? (Status Updates, Photo, Videos, etc.)

Probably the most critical of the privacy changes was the change made to status updates. Although there’s now a button beneath the status update field that lets you select who can view any particular update, the new Facebook default for this setting is “Everyone.” And by everyone, they mean everyone.

If you accepted the new recommended settings then you voluntarily gave Facebook the right to share the information about the items you post with any user or application on the site. Depending on your search settings, you may have also given Facebook the right to share that information with search engines, too.

To change this setting back to something of a more private nature, 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 “Profile Information” from the list of choices on the next page.
  3. Scroll down to the setting “Posts by Me.” This encompasses anything you post, including status updates, links, notes, photos, and videos.
  4. Change this setting using the drop-down box on the right. We recommend the “Only Friends” setting to ensure that only those people you’ve specifically added as a friend on the network can see the things you post.

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.

Facebook Privacy: Know Your Settings

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Understand the new Facebook homepage and know your settings.

The new layout of Facebook’s homepage had some major navigational and privacy setting changes. You may find it harder to find a link that used to be there or find new features that you haven’t seen, but there are some key components to the new Facebook Homepage. As Facebook illustrates in their new homepage tour, there are 6 core components of the new home page: requests and notifications, news feed, bookmarked applications, online friends, account privacy and settings, birthday and event reminders, and Facebook chat.

Facebook Settings

Take 5 minutes to view the facebook homepage tour and review your privacy settings. While these three settings are very critical, they’re by no means the only privacy settings worth a look. You may think these sorts of items aren’t worth your time now, the next time you lose out on a job because the hiring manager found some inappropriate pictures or saw something inappropriate a friend posted on your wall, you may have second thoughts. But why wait until after a storm to buy an umbrella?

Visit the Facebook Help Page for more information on your privacy settings.

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.