Jumping Off the Facebook Bandwagon (part 1 of 2)
Posted by Earthianne
Trying to be instep with the ‘cool’ crowd has placed me in a quandary.
When I first joined Facebook (FB) in early 2007, I was very strict with my privacy settings. I initially used a pseudonym (I know you’re not supposed to do that), limited what I shared and was very cautious of what others could see and find out about me.
But I have loosened up a bit more since then. I’ve posted more and more photos and have been openly sharing my thoughts and memories. In a way, I’ve been desensitised from being more and more exposed to more and more revealing posts from other users.
To give you a bit of insight on the ‘stealth-like’ movement I do on FB:
1. I screen and ignore friend invites from those I don’t know or not related to, even if we have common friends.
2. My contact and work details are not listed.
3. No one outside my FB friends can see who my friends are (for the simple reason that the less outsiders know about me and who my family, friends and co-workers are, the better).
4. I created friend lists with varying privacy levels so not all my albums can be seen by everyone.
5. I upload personal photos of family and friends that aren’t unflattering or will not embarrass them (at least in my opinion) so I don’t upset them.
6. I sometimes hide my profile/photo from the general public (depending on the photo I use) in case someone downloads it, creates a fake account using my name (and pretend to be me) and use my photo as their profile photo. Now don’t laugh and think I’m being paranoid. This has been reported to happen (though you can report it to FB).
7. Every time FB announces an upgrade/adds new features or change their policy, I review my privacy settings.
Do you know how many of your friends have gone through their privacy settings thoroughly and configured them properly and are they compatible with yours?
Why should you take so much trouble in diligently and consciously protecting and controlling what you share and with whom?
1. Pictures of your child, niece/nephew, cousins, yourself and others can be downloaded by anyone for nefarious purposes by some sick people.
2. Phishing is a real concern and risk.
3. Tech Herald says more and more criminals will use FB as a valuable source of profit and information (spreading malware via links or applications, for example).
4. It doesn’t only happen to other people and people we don’t know – identity theft is real and is happening.
5. We all have our own stalkers. I don’t want to give my own stalkers the satisfaction of secretly seeing and downloading photos of me and my family.
6. If you only want certain information/photos to be available to certain people (and hide them from those you don’t really know), then make an effort to change your settings.
However, in spite of these precautions, some of it is for nothing. No matter how much you safeguard your identity and information, there are snippets of you that will be revealed to the online world.