Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Facebook - Be Careful Who Your Friends Are!

I finally joined facebook about a month ago.  I really didn't have the time or desire to be that connected before that... but I figured I have to explore these things somewhat before my children ask to for themselves.  I was quite shocked to be honest with you with who was already on there... I really felt like I was the last person on the planet to join!

Last night, I went to a very helpful seminar geared to parents of children who are or will be on facebook.  While I had explored several of the privacy and security settings myself, there were many more that I hadn't come accross yet and likely wouldn't have... so it was very helpful.

The main take-aways for parents:
  • there is no guarantee of privacy on facebook
  • nothing is really ever deleted from the facebook servers
  • schools and employers take facebook seriously when evalutating applicants
  • you're only as 'private' as your least 'private' friend (as soon as they comment on something of your's it's out there for all of their 'friends')
Here are a few steps that I am going to try to get all my 'friends' to take right away:
  • go to Account-Privacy Settings and set everything under Sharing on Facebook to "Friends Only"
  • also under Privacy Settings - go to Connecting on Facebook and preview your profile - make sure you're comfortable with what EVERYONE can see!
  • as a minimum under Connecting on Facebook - make your friends list visible to only your friends - this is really only fair to your friends!
  • check back often because facebook is an always changing forum and the security options and settings may change at any time.  (They already did some months back and some users are not aware)
There was so much more offered at this session, and I would encourage you to try to get to something similar yourself, but hopefully this is enough to spark some interest.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am enjoying my facebook experience... but there have been too many examples of people getting caught in situations they needn't have, so we all just need to be aware and take the measures we can to protect ourselves and those we love.

Happy social networking!


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