All over the world, millions of people use Facebook, which has become a giant social media company that facilitates communication for everyone. However with so much of our personal information available online for everyone to see, how can we be sure that every aspect of our online lives is safe? Is Facebook security attainable?
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As with all high-profile online companies, Facebook is no exception to security rules and safety; in fact, the company gives some very good tips on staying safe.
Teens are advised not to share their passwords with others, accept friend requests only from people they know, post no images or comments they wouldn’t want authoritative figures to see, and educate themselves on online safety measures.
All this advice, when followed, provides protection among users, for both teens and adults. Other settings provided enable users to block traffic from unwanted people and keep strangers from seeing their posts and profiles.
While every Facebook user is fully protected from other users, this is not necessarily the case when it comes to the company itself. The Facebook security page states the following: “We will continue to advocate for….greater transparency about the degree to which governments seek access to data in connection with their efforts to keep people safe.”
It appears that the personal information of Facebook users is more open to public access than many users would like. Even though Facebook advertising settings can be adjusted so that your photos, comments, and posts are not part of their public advertising campaigns or can automatically go viral (if you are a Facebook user, adjust your privacy and account settings to ensure this doesn’t happen), your account is still open and visible to government access.
For personal security, some sources strongly recommend that you use a fictitious name, birth date, and phone number when signing up.
Facebook Security Settings: Advice from Facebook
There is a special security settings page on Facebook that provides links which explain how you can protect yourself when using the site. You can set your privacy levels to protect your identity, and you can read the guide to privacy – and it is strongly recommended that you do – about how other people see your information. Facebook also informs you that anyone who becomes your friend can see your other friends. People you add can be placed in different categories which provide separate levels of access to your information.
All options on how people view your profile can be disabled then hand-selected to shift which ones you will use and which ones you won’t. For example, out of 15 friends you can choose to allow half or just one of them to see your photos or wall posts.
More ‘Transparency’ Than Meets the Eye
When you first create your Facebook account, you need to pay strict attention to the personal details you provide and your Facebook security settings. You also need to randomly check your privacy settings because Facebook regularly ‘updates’ them. You should only connect with people you know in real life and check your privacy settings on a regular basis to make sure you are staying safe. When Facebook security changes occur, the website usually notifies you. Make sure you always review those changes.
From a legal perspective, Facebook has the right to use and share, in whichever way the company chooses, the information you upload online unless you state otherwise.
Sometimes, when you select certain privacy settings, they may bounce back and return to the original settings or other settings that you do not approve of. This may be a glitch, malfunction, or something else. In any case, you should report those changes to the website.
Facebook Security: Good Advice on ‘Weeding Out’
Facebook provides step-by-step instructions on how to stay safe on its site, but it is still a good idea to get tips from outside experts on internet protection.
Facebook is one of the largest and most popular media sites that allow sharing under every form of communication. While this is good for keeping people connected with their family and friends, it can also be the biggest doorway to privacy vulnerability. Starting with the initial set-up, Facebook requests that you provide a lot of information so you can connect with your friends, but it is not mandatory that you do so. Sharing further information, such as your employer, pictures of yourself, and the schools you went to, is not necessary either. You also have the option to import contacts from Web-mail services, but the scope for that could be ‘too wide for comfort.’ Start by adding only people you would trust completely and tag them as ‘Close Friends.’
Facebook has an informative section on how privacy settings relates to sharing, being ‘tagged’ by others, and modifying your settings to include apps and games. This area gives you the option to change some key components. Look at the ‘see more settings’ link below the Privacy Shortcuts menu at the top right side corner on the website. Always be sure to set ‘who can see my stuff’ to friends or only me instead of ‘public’ and, unless you want to be visible to Web Search engines, set your timeline link to off. You can also review tags people add to your timeline before they show up on Facebook.
While the Data Use Policy is helpful, it takes some time to read. If you don’t have the patience to read all of it, check out these quick tips on further ways to stay safe. Review your profile the way other people see it. This way you will know what to block and what to share with outsiders because you will know what your profile looks like to them.
Facebook Security Issues: Not Everyone Remains a Facebook Fan
Stefan Stieger, a university psychologist, along with several fellow researchers, spoke with 600 Facebook users and former users to see how they differed. From their discussions they learned that there were four main reasons why previous users ‘quit’ Facebook:
– 48.3% weren’t comfortable about privacy on the social site
– 13.5% didn’t feel satisfied with Facebook
– 12.6% felt that conversations with friends were insipid.
The overall analysis of personalities showed that the majority of quitters were mature, conscientious males who showed more concern over privacy as compared with present users.
Further studies from Dr. Stieger’s group include comments noted by Mark Zuckerberg in 2010 when he intimated that ‘privacy was an outdated concept’ in today’s globally connected community. This led them to believe that former users’ concerns over safety issues overshadowed the advantages of using Facebook.
People are becoming more and more cautious about what they share with their global community and for good reason. Stories about WikiLeaks and NSA surveillance reports are putting citizens on their guard and, with quick and easy access to cyber-sharing, Google name search, internet dependency, and Facebook use, many people feel this makes their online identities easier to track—if they are not careful.
After reviewing the various comments and views about Facebook security issues, readers can judge for themselves and decide whether or not using Facebook is safe enough for them.
Facebook Security Question
Facebook has a system that can help you gain access to your account if you cannot remember your password. If you are facing any problems in accessing your account, the security question is your back-up plan. The initial process is to click the ‘forgot your password?’ link on the Facebook page. You should then follow the steps that verify your identity and use any emails you have listed. If you can’t use the emails, then use the security question. If you can’t remember the security question, you are then directed to enlist the help of your friends. After the ‘request new password’ process has gone through you will be required to wait 24 hours. During this time, your account will undergo the verification process. If you receive a message from Facebook that says recovery has started on your account and this has happened without your permission, contact your friends and ask them not to respond, and then deactivate your account.
One very peculiar thing about Facebook is its ability to find out your information through an email address even though it is not the one you use for your Facebook account. To test this, put in an email you use (but not for Facebook), then put in your password. Click log in and wait for about 2-6 seconds. The email and name you use for Facebook will appear above or within the slot you should have the correct email address in and you will be asked, ‘Is this you?’ Just like everything else in life, Facebook use has its pros and cons; you must be the one to decide if you are willing to use this social media website or not.
Are you worried about your online privacy? Then this article is for you!