Privacy and security are the number-one concerns on the Internet, and are particularly relevant in the world of social networking. Identity theft is growing daily and spammers lurk behind every website trying to nab your email address. It’s more important than ever to guard yourself online. Along with these dangers, a social networking site like Facebook also throws in the risks of humiliation, embarrassment, and criticism if you end up posting information you’re not supposed to or revealing far too much information to the wrong people. So how do you begin to protect yourself and still network freely?

The reality is anything you post on Facebook has the potential to be publicly available. This includes your picture and your profile information, such as political views, relationship status, and so on. Facebook does do all it can to protect your personal information, but things happen, hackers can attack, and so on. It’s easy to think that only people you allow to be your friends on Facebook can view your info, but that’s not the case. There are ways of finding someone’s profile on Facebook. Potential employers, law enforcement, teachers, and anyone else determined to do so can find a way to see your profile. If your privacy settings are lax, even a simple search engine can access your profile.

Companies and third-party developers that partner with Facebook can also access your information when allowed. Per Facebook’s policy, advertisers who sell products on Facebook can access your information, so it’s up to those companies to also safeguard the info. There are hundreds of thirdparty applications available on Facebook, and to make use of them, you must allow them access to your information. In doing so, there is the potential for unscrupulous third-party developers to misuse your data. Because you’ve allowed them access to the info by adding the application to your account, there’s not much Facebook can do about it.

The bottom line is it’s up to you to take steps to protect yourself. Thankfully, there are some strategies you can pursue to help battle privacy and security breaches, and stop them before they ever occur.

Source of Information : Sams Teach Yourself Facebook in 10 Minutes (2009)


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