Top 5 Risks in You Personally Using Facebook

As the wave of social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., continues to grow, more and more people post images of their family & friends on these sites. I, myself, have posted pictures of my own family many of times to show family members and friends the daily adventures of our lives.  However, I recently learned the hard way that by posting these pictures online allows strangers to come into your family’s life and invade your privacy, even your children’s privacy.  After this happens, it is very difficult, and often next to impossible, to repair the damage that was caused by simply posting pictures online for others to see.
There are many reasons why you should not post images of your family online. Most people know the dangers of pedophiles and the pictures falling into the hands of pedophiles.  But in reality, this is actually a very small concern. There are other dangers,which occur far to often.
When you post pictures of your family online, anyone can download them and save them to their computer. It is not uncommon for these downloaded images to be used in media and marketing without the parents consent. The people who download the pictures claim them as their own, and even make a profit off of what could be your child’s photo. The image is the distributed all over the world, falling into the hands of strangers.


Protecting Your Family

So, how can you protect your family? Well, if you are going to post pictures online, make sure all your settings are private. You can customize many settings on social networking sites to monitor who has permission to view your photos. Only share the pictures with those you trust completely.

Another option is Flickr which allows you to create online albums that are completely private. The only way people can view your images is if you send them a “guest pass,” which allows them to view the link of your online album. The guest pass can be taken away anytime you feel like it and it is completely private because you are in absolute control of who views your pictures.

It is also important to monitor the images your children place on social networking sites. Many older children have their own Facebook accounts, where they can post anything they want if parental monitoring is not conducted. Warn your children about the consequences and dangers of sharing personal information and photos online. Always monitor what your children are posting to keep them safe.

In regards to your own personal risks, here are just five reasons alone you should consider before sharing your own personal information Facebook:

 1. Your information is being shared with third parties:

According to Facebook policy last updated on April 2010, “When you connect with an application or website it will have access to General Information about you. The term General Information includes your and your friends’ names, profile pictures, gender, user IDs, connections, and any content shared using the Everyone privacy setting. … The default privacy setting for certain types of information you post on Facebook is set to “everyone.” … Because it takes two to connect, your privacy settings only control who can see the connection on your profile page. If you are uncomfortable with the connection being publicly available, you should consider removing (or not making) the connection.”

2. Privacy settings revert to a less safe default mode after each redesign:

In March, private e-mails according to a Gawker report, were revealed publically on a multitude of Facebook profiles.  The glitch was resolved later by Facebook.

3. Facebook ads may contain malware: 

These phishing scams can tap into your personal information and create havoc to those who are listed as your friends.   Here’s a quick run down how it may occur: you accept an invite to an event, who in turn then sends the same invite to your friends an event invitation asking them to  attend an event when in actually the message was a scam to obtain information.  The users who then accept that same invitation then in turn sends the reoccurring invite to their friends list as well hence creating an open mass transit of phishing.

4. Your Friends unknowingly make you vulnerable:

On May 6th, 2011,  FB had a major security bug that allowed users to snoop on their friends private chats and view their pending friends requests.  This bug actually forced FB to temporarily disable chat until resolved!

5. Scammers create profiles:

Enough said!

****Arm yourself with information, before you decide to distribute your own.

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Thalya, Great article. Here are some of my thoughts. Facebook on its own is not too bad, but adding apps to your Facebook, like games etc offers some of your personal information to 3rd parties.

    Also I think everyone should have a fake date of birth for everything other than companies that need that information. This must be one you remember as a lot of companies require it if you lose your password, so create a fake date of birth, do, etc etc really need to know exactly when you were born? Really only banks and government organizations require exact data. the reason?

    Simple, when verifying who you are one of 3 things is usually your date of birth, so why would you give that first step to anyone? No one not even your hairdresser gets the real date of birth, just ones that are required by law.

    All in all a great primer and thanks for sharing, Peter


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