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Facebook Status Update Leads to Robbery

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When you are ‘friends’ with people on Facebook that you are not actually friends with, how do you know whether they have good intentions?

A recent segment on CNN discusses the risks that you may be taking while updating your Facebook status. You don’t know who is looking at your private information because it’s truly not private – it’s public. Keri McMullen found this out the hard way after she posted a simple status message that she was going to see a band with her fiancé. It only took the burglars calling the venue to find out what time the show was to let them know when they could break into her home. The burglars showed up 35 minutes after the McMullens left for the concert.

It is that simple. You post a casual message to your “friends” that could turn into a nightmare where, like Keri, you lose upwards of $11,000 in personal property. They were lucky that they had cameras installed in the home and were able to catch the perpetrators on film. After posting pictures of them on her Facebook page (a good use of social networking), another friend recognized the intruders as Keri’s high school classmates.

Keri’s experience shows other Facebook users that, even though you may have known an individual at one time, if you do not interact with them and know their character now, then how can you trust them? Remember you don’t have to be Facebook friends with everyone you have ever spoken to. By keeping your ‘friends’ limited, you are lessening your risk of becoming a victim. No matter what privacy setting you have on your Facebook profile, your posts are public, permanent and exploitable.

John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on identity theft, internet privacy, fraud training & technology defense. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.

Facebook Changing Privacy Settings – Again!

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Facebook faced major backlash last month after they implemented a new tool that linked your interests to sites across the Internet and allowed third parties access to your information unless you specifically deny such access. As we mentioned in yesterday’s blog about an [intlink id=”2062″ type=”post”]easy way to configure your privacy settings[/intlink] in Facebook, there are 50 different settings with more than 170 options!

Many Facebook users have been extremely vocal about their frustrations, even organizing efforts to quit the quickly growing site. According to CNN Facebook will be reversing these changes today to make them simpler for the user with the intent of increasing user privacy.

“I can confirm that our new, simpler user controls will begin rolling out tomorrow. I can’t say more yet,” Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told CNN in an e-mail Tuesday.

In a piece on Monday in The Washington Post, Zuckerberg said upcoming tweaks — which could be implemented as early as Wednesday — will make it simpler to use these privacy controls and and provide an easy way to turn off all third-party services. Keep your eye out for these changes, but if you are concerned about your current privacy settings try this new Facebook Privacy Tool.

Read more on the CNN article: Facebook to Announce Changes after Privacy Settings Backlash

Order your copy of the Facebook Safety Survival Guide to make sure you and your children are protected online.

John Sileo helps businesses tackle social networking privacy concerns. His clients include the Department of Defense, the FTC, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference or working directly with your business, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076

Facebook Launches New Security Feature

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Facebook has announced a new security feature that focuses on keeping users’ information safe from hackers attempting to gain access into your account.

The feature was announced last Thursday, and is similar to how secured banking sites work — they only let you access the site from approved computers.  If you are attempting to log onto your Facebook account from an unknown computer, device, or location, Facebook will notify you via email and lock down your account in case it is under attack. To regain access, you will have to follow the link in the email which will lead you through a security check to verify your identity. They will ask you a few security questions and have you acknowledge that it was in fact YOU (or if it wasn’t you, then you notify Facebook at this point) trying to access your account.

This change comes on the heels of one of the largest Facebook privacy issues to date. The social networking site that services over 400 million people made headlines recently when they chose to link users’ likes and interests to organizations and others on Facebook.  This raised major concerns that they were no longer acting in the users’ best interest.

Although it comforts some users that their pages are harder to hack, most users are more concerned with what Facebook is sifting from their profiles and sharing about them online. When it comes to anything on the Internet, be aware that what you think is kept private can be made public in an instant (even after the fact, like it has been recently on Facebook — the rules can change mid-stream). Be mindful of what you are sharing and if you wouldn’t want the world to see, hear or know something, don’t put it online in the first place…no matter how tight your security settings are!

Order your copy of the Facebook Safety Survival Guide to make sure you and your children are protected online.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Information Control Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Experts after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.