Thanks to Naomi Paton from BestComputerScienceSchools.net for sharing this Facebook Privacy Infographic!
One billion people worldwide use Facebook to share the details of their lives with their friends and may be unaware their Facebook Privacy could be compromised. Trouble is, they also might be unintentionally divulging matters they consider private to co-workers, clients and employers. Worse yet, they may be sharing their privacy with marketing companies and even scammers, competitors and identity thieves.
Here are six ways Facebook could be compromising your private information and how to protect yourself:
1. The new Timeline format brings old lapses in judgment back to light. Timeline, introduced in late 2011, makes it easy for people to search back through your old Facebook posts, something that was very difficult to do in the past. That could expose private matters and embarrassing photos that you’ve long since forgotten posting.
None of us wants to be part of a scam that allows links to be forwarded as if from a friend, invading their privacy and endangering their sensitive information. It’s not always easy to avoid bad sites but by just being aware of the problem, you can become more adept. The following article is a summary of an original post By Rob Spiegel, E-Commerce Times.
In its on-going effort to mitigate spam activity, Facebook filed a lawsuit against a company that allegedly ran a “likejacking” operation. “We’re hopeful that this kind of pressure will deter large scale spammers and scammers,” said Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes. The state of Washington is also applying pressure, having mounted a similar lawsuit against the same company. Both suits were filed citing violation of the CAN-SPAM Act, which prohibits the sending of misleading electronic communications. Facebook and Washington state filed federal lawsuits on Thursday against Adscend Media for “clickjacking,” a form of spamming that fools users into visiting advertising sites and divulging personal information.
A true friend does more than just post updates about their conquests on your wall. They share information with you that makes your life better, even if it isn’t exactly what you want to hear. And you do the same for them. But are your friends unwittingly sharing too much information about you with others (strangers, advertisers, app developers, scammers)? Probably. For example, if they (or you) haven’t customized your privacy settings lately, you are giving Facebook permission to:
A report was recently published claiming that nearly 100,000 Facebook apps have been leaking access codes belonging to millions of users’ profiles. Symantec released the report and said that an app security flaw may have given apps and other third parties access to users’ profiles. Facebook maintains that they have no evidence of this occurring.
In their report, Symantec wrote:
We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage. We estimate that over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties.
These “access tokens” help apps interact with your profile.They are most often used to post updates from the application to your wall. When you add the applications to your profile you, as the Facebook user, is giving the apps access to your information by accepting their conditions. According to the investigation, these tokens were included in URLs sent to the application host and were then sent to advertisers and analytics platforms. If the recipient recognized the codes (meaning they have to be qualified to read and write HTML code), they could gain access to the user’s wall’s and profile.
At this point, we are all pretty used to the classic Nigerian Scam. Someone who is recently wealthy needs your help to gain access to the funds. They will let you keep $1 million if you will simply send them your bank account number so he can transfer $30 million to you. Its a dream come true to most!
What happens when that same scam is used on Facebook by one of your friends, by someone you trust? The results can be disastrous. One woman was scammed out of $366,000 because she felt sorry for the scammer’s sob story. The woman contacted the local authorities after realizing she had been conned by her Facebook “friend”. Police arrested six male suspects in Kepong, all allegedly connected to the Facebook scam: two Nigerians, two Bangladeshis, and two Malaysians. Investigators only managed to recover $5,000 in cash of the victim’s money, although they also seized 18 ATM cards, seven cell phones, and a laptop.
A close friend of mine just had his Facebook account taken over and used for pretty nasty things, so… this is just a quick reminder to change your Facebook password frequently for added security. If you have been a member for years, like most people, and have not ever changed your password, I recommend you do so right now (don’t wait, you’ll never do it later).
On a site like Facebook that houses so much of your personal reputation and information, it is good to keep passwords new and difficult to hack. We see people’s Facebook profiles get hacked every day from clicking on malware and phishing schemes – and once they have your Facebook password, they probably have the same password you use on other accounts. Changing your password frequently, as simple as it sounds, is an easy way to avoid some of the privacy problems posed by Facebook. Once you are logged in, visit your Account Settings Page. On the first page next to Password click change.
Did you know that Facebook can use photos you post on the site in advertisements targeted on the right (advertising) side of your contact’s profile?
Unless you customize your privacy settings, Facebook can share just about anything you post with just about everyone. Using your intellectual property for their financial gain is not a new Facebook issue, but one that should be revisited due to recent Facebook Privacy changes. Here’s the funny part: you gave Facebook the right to use any of your content in any way they see fit when you signed up for your account and didn’t read the user agreement. If you visit the Facebook Statement of Rights page you will see the following:
Facebook has announced that they will be rolling out a new security feature that will add full HTTPS support to the site. The new secure site uses the same underlying technology that banks use to keep your communications out of the reach of potential hackers. While many people don’t have this feature yet and mine just showed up today, eventually all users should have the capability.
To enable HTTPS, log into your Facebook account and at the top right go into Account -> Account Settings.
The following screen should pop up. Check the box under Secure Browsing. You can also check “send me an email” (or a text message to your cell phone, which I don’t advise giving to Facebook) so that if someone tries to log into your account from a new computer, Facebook will immediately alert you. This is a good way to find out fast if your account has been hacked.