Facebook: Are You and Your Children Safe?
By Gregory West
Are you protecting yourself on Facebook? Are your children protected on Facebook? Not sure? Please read on…
A 2010 Consumer Report shows “23 percent of Facebook users don’t even know about the site’s privacy controls or just don’t bother to use them.” (full report: http://bit.ly/2010_report) and it doesn’t stop there. With over a half billion users, one can only imagine how many people do not use their security settings properly or even at all.
I became aware of this recently when I ran a free “Facebook for Beginners” seminar at Grace United Church in Sarnia, Ontario. Most people in attendance were using Facebook, yet none really knew how to protect themselves with Facebook security settings. In fact, many were surprised to see how easy it is to protect yourself in Facebook.
The Consumer Report goes on to point out the seriousness of this as they found “The survey, which seemed to focus primarily on Facebook, also discovered that 7 percent of people had posted their street address on their profile, while 3 percent had revealed times when they’d be away from home.”
It gets even more frightening when the report shows that “Among Facebook users with children, 26 percent had posted photos of their kids on the site and 13 percent had included the names of their kids in the captions, both of which Consumer Reports believes could expose the children to potential online predators.”
Have I scared you yet? I hope so.
Facebook is becoming extremely secure and a very important utility in today’s society. I personally believe this is the platform where most people in a community will gather…Let me rephrase that: Most people, who are online, now are involved in a Facebook community in one way or another. Facebook is rapidly becoming part of the mainstream media as well. So hang in there and don’t rush to delete your Facebook account just yet.
Here are a few items you can check on Facebook to tighten up your security as you so choose. Please go over the following to check and set your privacy controls to your liking.
- Go to your Facebook profile page (just open Facebook) and click on “Account” located at the top right of the webpage.
- Click “Privacy Settings”
- Now you will be on the page that says: “Choose Your Privacy Settings”. Now look for where it says: “Control basic information your friends will use to find you on Facebook. View Settings” and click on the “View Settings”.
You will now see a list of topics where your security settings can be changed. The topic list includes: Search for you on Facebook, Send you friend requests, Send you messages, See your friend list, See your education and work, See your current city and hometown, and See your likes, activities and other connections.
Those settings can be adjusted so that you can allow one of the following:
Everyone – Friends of Friends – Friends Only and there are some that allow some customization.
If you are at all concerned about who sees what, about you and especially your children, I highly suggest you go each one of these settings and adjust accordingly. Make sure you do this with your children so they realize the importance of privacy settings.
Of course, these privacy settings are not for everyone, and many people such as myself leave them open so that it expands my community and communication. The decision is yours do decide. Don’t listen to others, go and check out YOUR SECURITY SETTINGS today.
If you want further Facebook security information go to this website:
www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php#basicinfo and www.facebook.com/policy.php
The public is welcomed to attend another Free seminar on Facebook Security on May 9th, 10:00 a.m. at Grace United Church. Please bring a food item for the Food Bank.
Be safe out there!
Filed under: Facebook | Tagged: computer help, computer training, facebook, Food Bank, free, grace united church, gregory west, Lambton County, mac, Online Communities, pc, Privacy, privacysettings, sarnia, security, seminar, social media, Social network, twitter |