31 Aug 2008

5 Facebook safety tips

A new report published by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of British Columbia says young people are exposing themselves to identify theft by posting personal information on the Internet, especially on social networking sites, such as Facebook.

If you, or your kids, are spending time on Facebook – and many millions of Canadians are – then take heed to the following tips on better protecting yourself or loved ones from online scams (and sexual predators). Much of the same advice can be used for other networking sites such as MySpace and MSN Spaces.

1. Never give out personal information

Posting your name on your Facebook profile page is perfectly reasonable, but you need not list your address, birth date, phone number, work details or any other private information a malicious person can use against you. Also be cautious about what kinds of photos your kids are posting, in case they reveal personal info such as a photo of them in front of their school sign. Remember to remind your kids to never ever meet a new Facebook "friend" in real life.

2. Close your network

Rather than making your profile public to everyone – meaning all your details pop up if someone types in your name or clicks on your name on someone else's site – you can choose to close your Facebook network to everyone except for a small group of friends. Further, when you accept a friend request, don't be afraid to click the box that says "limit my profile." On that note, don't feel obligated to accept a friend request from someone you don't know.

3. Watch your wall

You might do a good job keeping personal info off your main page but your friends or coworkers might blow it. Example: you're going on vacation and leaving your house vacant for a week, so you don't broadcast this information on the Internet. Except a dim friend or two writes on your public wall – for all to see -- something like "Dude, have fun in Mexico this week! Bring me home some tequila!" Sigh, be sure to remove these comments ASAP. You might be tempted to ask a friend to remove these comments while you're away -- but remember to change your Facebook password when you come back in case you ever get in a fight with this person.

4. Be wary of forms

Thousands of third-party Facebook applications can add to the site's functionality, be it trivia games, video posts, astrology, and so forth. While free, many of these companies like to collect names for marketing purposes, so be aware of forms you might be asked to fill out forms in order to use their application. Don't fill out every field if you don't feel comfortable about it (such as a residential street address) and if it's mandatory, consider another application or make up the information (123 Sesame Street).

5. Use email messages

Remember, someone's Facebook wall can be viewed by anyone, so before you post a comment or question to it, ask yourself if it's better as a private email, which only the Facebook user can read. Similar to tip #3 (above), you might upset the person you're writing if it contains personal information, but also be cautious of what information you're revealing about yourself, such as "Hey, here's my new cell phone number!"

zaza at 10:22 pm

5 angels shot me


at September 01, 2008 Blogger I Walk Alone!!! said...

Thats indeed a good post. Much needed by many. But not for me (especially w.r.t. Facebook or Orkut... ;) coz I am neither on Facebook nor on Orkut :)

People call me anti-social... :)

at September 01, 2008 Blogger zaza said...

i copied it from msn haha. i think sites like this rob your social skills to an extend, so dont wori, cos youre not really missing out on anything :)

at September 03, 2008 Anonymous dark knight said...

what you out off stuff to write so you start copying stuff lol

at September 06, 2008 Blogger zaza said...

no dumbo. im writing in my personal journal, just not here.

at September 08, 2008 Blogger An ILLuS|On said...

I wonder what made ya write all this at the first place & that too about facebook! *rolls eyes*


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