With all the talk about Facebook and privacy I felt like I had to just get my two cents out there. Here in Australia, there is even more talk about Facebook as an 18 year old female got killed after she met up with a man she had met on Facebook. It had been revealed his Facebook profile was under a fake name and he lured her out telling her about a possible job opportunity with animals.
I want to talk about this situation first, as now police are saying that teenagers should not be posting pictures on their Facebook profiles ect … and there is even a campaign for people to quit Facebook at the end of May. The list goes on really, now from what I have read about this case, the girl was 18 and she went out on her own to meet a stranger. Apparently on this fake profile of this guy people had been saying there was something not quite right about him, people asking why he wanted to be their friends on Facebook. Surely these would have been warning signs to this woman? Perhaps a google search of this business he supposedly had would have revealed it was fake, but apparently she did not have the sense to do that. I am not blaming her, but common sense does go along way.
Unfortunately there are some sick and twisted people out there, predators, con artists, the works. Now we can do our best to protect ourselves and our families from these people, but unless we go off to an empty island where there are no 0ther people there are risks. You can’t shut yourself off from the world because you are afraid someone out there might hurt you in some way. You can take properly precautions to keep safe, it is common sense. Avoid your house getting broken into by say locking the doors and windows when you aren’t home, install an alarm system ect … same things go for Facebook and other things you might do online.
Since I want to specifically talk about Facebook, I can give you some tips on keeping things private. It just seems to me people are too lazy and are easy to place blame, when you can take control and be responsible. Facebook have a lot of Privacy settings, and I am sure there are so many out there not even aware of it, it does not take much to just have a look at it. It just pains me when people complain about things, yet they haven’t even bothered to spend 30mins to search the Privacy settings to fix the issue.
If you want to have a Facebook page and you want it to be private from people who aren’t friends with you, all you have to do is set up everything to be viewed by Friends only. It is as simple as that, you can have a private profile, so people who aren’t on your friends list can’t see your information. You can have a public profile, you just have it visible to everyone or you can make it visible to friends and their friends. There are options, and it only takes a few minutes to set up. This goes for most things on Facebook, if you post photos you can make them visible to Friends only. You can make them as public or as private as you want to, if you want them private and do not put in the correct settings you are to blame.
I highly encourage the use of Friends Lists, you can easily keep track of who people are on your friends list. I have a Friends List for my Family, so all my family are under the list. If I want to publish photos that I only want my Family to see, I can easily do that by clicking Specific People and selecting that list when I publish photos. I have Lists for a lot of groups of people on Facebook, and you know what in doing that I can share as much or as little information with them. For example if there are people I am friends with on Facebook just for something like Farmville, I know they are a stranger and it isn’t their business to see private things on my Facebook so I make sure they cannot see that stuff. They can see what I allow them to see, and it is mostly limited to things related to Farmville. It only took me a few minutes to set up, they can see what I want them to see. It really is as easy as that, and if you just take a few minutes to look at the Privacy options you can make these changes too.
Instead of placing the blame elsewhere, be aware and use your common sense. If you do not want certain people to even see your profile, you can block them. If you want certain people to see only specific things, you can put those settings in place. Do not add people on Facebook if you do not know who they are, if they are being added for the sole reason of an application, limit them to what they can see on your profile and your posts. You can even use your nickname on Facebook or change the spelling of your name for a bit more privacy if you do not want say weirdo’s from High School tracking you down. You don’t even need to have your own picture as your profile picture, you can have a cartoon character or something else. Just because the option is there, it does not mean you have to use it. You can hide your email addresses and date of birth, all it takes is a click. Remember you do not have to share every bit about yourself, the option is there. If you want to block certain applications, block them, if you don’t want to keep getting requests you block them, don’t complain about it! Same goes for the News Feed, if you don’t like something you can Hide it. The option is there, complaining about it will not solve the problem, be pro active.
If you want any more tips and advice, feel free to contact me.