Facebook’s new user profile, announced earlier this month, is designed to help users share their experiences, discover common interests and highlight meaningful relationships. It’ll be rolled out to all accounts, over 500 million, in the coming months. Okay…at this point you’re probably saying, “and your point is…?”, because these new changes seem to enhance the whole reason Facebook is so popular, meeting people and sharing interests.
Well…I hate to be the “party-pooper”, but these new abilities encourage Facebook users to share even more personal information than before. And before you ask; that’s not a good thing because there are cyber crooks who use Facebook to gather personal information about folks. And that information can be used to steal their identity, in order to steal their money, credit and reputation. See my blog article Facebook – Use With Care And Protect Your Privacy for more information on identity theft.
A recent Help Net Security article titled How new Facebook user profiles impact privacy states:
“Many Facebook users are online ‘friends’ with complete strangers and so we’d advise Facebook users to consider their privacy settings, make sure they’re only sharing information with people that they know and trust and to think carefully about how much personal information they want to make public.”
Unfortunately, the Internet is not a secure place to interact these days; in fact, that’s probably the understatement of the year. It’s a terrible place to find friends and be sociable, primarily because it’s users (you and I) are prey for organized cyber crime groups who steal identities, sell credit card numbers, and transfer funds from bank accounts. I’m sorry, but that’s the reality. I’m not against the use of Facebook; I use it. But I’m very conservative about how much personal information is in my profile, and who can read it. Continue to enjoy Facebook, but be very careful!
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Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.