In a previous article, I talked about what Facebook sends to the Authorities when said authorities require information about a specific Facebook account holder. If you haven’t read this article on Online Privacy I recommend that you do as you might find the information revealing, if not shocking, which is what one our readers must have felt when she asked the following and very pertinent question:
How can we protect our Facebook account?
This is a question of such concern to so many different people that I thought I’d respond (or at least try) in a separate article.
First the bad news. When it comes to Social Media Network Privacy, frankly, there isn’t any. When we join Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Platforms, we inevitably end up trading our concerns for privacy protection with the realities that are part and parcel of joining such networks.
What does this mean? When it comes to Online Privacy on Facebook, Google Plus and others, the hard truth is that there isn’t.
It is a fact that not everyone recognizes. Indeed many people remain blissfully unaware that what they write on their walls, the photos they upload, the comments they make in response to other posts, all these things become public property! Again, have a look at the article I wrote about Facebook responses to an official subpoena and you will be amazed at the information Facebook gathers about everyone.
This should cause additional concern to any parent of kids with Facebook or other accounts. I have had an ongoing battle with some of my kids friends about being more careful about what pictures of themselves they upload and I am still bemused that so many parents do not even know that once a picture is uploaded, it is still there for everyone to see, even for those who are not friends with the “uploader”.
You want proof? Click on this link: http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/174893_408250066356_872784538_n.jpg and what do you see? A picture of Bill O’Reilly. Now we know that Mr. O’Reilly is a public figure and has pictures of himself all over the internet, but the point I am making is that his picture is stored on a server which you can access easily without the need to enter a password if you know the address of the image, which is pretty easy to discover.
Want another proof? Try this link: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s720x720/555209_314476505286327_285379708196007_836772_987573098_n.jpg which is the image url of our own facebook fanpage cover image!
This one below!
It is frankly incredible that this is even allowed when you think about the children’s online protection act which supposedly was setup to protect our kids.
The other issue with social media network is that recently, spammers have been able to hack into members private wall and there are plenty of reports out there of inappropriate material posted on people’s walls without their knowledge. If a picture appears on your wall, which you did not upload, it automatically becomes visible to your friends and theirs….
Another issue which opens users up to ‘data manipulation’ are those apps that request permission to access your account, etc…. If you have received an invitation to be reminded of your friends next birthday, then you’ll know what I mean. My advice to you is you accept them is to do so for yourself only.
Facebook does have privacy settings that you can work on when managing your page and I would advise you to get going with these settings asap. As long as you realize that privacy and social media network do not usually go hand in hand.
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