“Facebook Changes – Why”

change

“Facebook Changes – Why”
by Gregory West

Cyberspace is alit with flareups from all of us using Facebook this past while. People are screaming that they are quitting Facebook and going to Google Plus (many are doing just that) while others have already switched to other social media spots such as Twitter and LinkedIn. I personally believe, even though the Internet is amass with complaints about Facebook’s new changes, people will stay with Facebook. They will click their way into learning the new Facebook and any other changes they may throw at us. Why?

The adage of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t hold water anymore, at least not in the online world where many of us now reside much of the time.  Like it or not, we necessitate change online. We demand things work faster, easier and are activated from anywhere, anytime, and by anyone. Plus, these online companies are no different than “brick and mortar” businesses: they all need to make money to survive. Facebook is moving into a new arena where they can make even more money. “The company is expected to bring in $3.8 billion in worldwide advertising revenue this year and $5.8 billion in 2012, according to research firm eMarketer.” (Washington Post)

While discussing Facebook, people admit that it is the first website they check when going on the Internet in the morning, even before any news sites or email programs – Facebook is many people’s first choice for keeping up; keeping connected is very important to many of the 800 million users who now use Facebook. The Post says that, “Facebook is a technology company that wants to keep improving its products so that people keep using it and it doesn’t grow stale.”

I remember reading a book in college by Alvin Toffler: “Future Shock” wherein Toffler described how people would not be able to accept the rate of change. Toffler wrote, “too much change in too short a period of time”. I believed this would happen, but it never did. The book was written before the Internet was born, although ironically, Toffler “popularized the phrase information overload” (wikipedia).

We are a connected society now. One just has to look to the streets, to the malls, along sidewalks and in grocery store lineups. What is it you see? People staring at their smart phones, connected in a “brave new world”. These are the people who are learning to tolerate and navigate through the rough seas of change, be it a computer, a tablet or a smart phone. It is so much part of our lives today that these devices, once called “toys” are now a major necessity. We are, and we will, continue to live with change – I believe deep down we must thrive on change, otherwise Alvin Toffler would have been correct back in 1970.

If you have a computer problem or a great tip, please pass it along to Greg at First Monday and he will post it in the next issue.

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
SENIORS NOW GET FREE HELP on this website: alternatecloud.com
Free Basic Computer Help for Seniors: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

Facebook: Are You and Your Children Safe?

Facebook: Are You and Your Children Safe?

facebook logo

Set Your Security

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.

  1. Go to your Facebook profile page (just open Facebook) and click on “Account” located at the top right of the webpage.
  2. Click “Privacy Settings”
  3. 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!

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

FACEBOOK Ghost Busters…And More PC Tips

Editor’s Note: This article will be published in First Monday Magazine August 2010 edition.
ghostFACEBOOK GHOST-BUSTERS – & Computer Tips

By Gregory West

Recently in the news, there are stories of Facebook users having ghosts appear on their computer screens, reminding them of days-gone-by. This is good for some, as it brings happy memories, however many people find it “kinda creepy seeing dead people wishing them ‘Happy Birthday’, etc.  “It’s a very sensitive topic,” said Meredith Chin, a (Facebook) company spokeswoman, “and, of course, seeing deceased friends pop up can be painful” (New York Times).
As Facebook quickly reaches a near one-half billion members, as people die their Facebook site lives on, sometimes sending messages to relatives. That in itself is comforting to some people but not others. Some people may find it creepy. “People over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone…so the problem is only going to get worse” (Toronto Star). So, what’s the real issue?
If you want to shut this off you will have a very difficult time finding “how to”. Here is how to make the necessary changes. Go to this Facebook site:
(http://bit.ly/9jZp7m-facebook) and fill out the form. The preamble for the form states:
“Report a deceased person’s profile
IMPORTANT: This form is solely for the reporting of a deceased person to memorialize or remove the person’s account. Memorializing the account removes certain sensitive information and sets privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the Profile or locate it in search. The Wall remains, so that friends and family can leave posts in remembrance. Please note that unrelated inquiries through this form may not receive a response.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Sarnia has live eyes:
The 402 Highway in our area now has webcams so you can view the road and traffic conditions live…Not all are working but it is worth a peek:
How to Email those large vacation photo files:
We know that your Internet Service Provider limits the file sizes that you Email, including photos. So what can one do? There are several things you can do. Try resizing your photos when Emailing them to friends and family. Go to the Microsoft website for a free download of the software program needed for resizing photos: (http://bit.ly/aAAihD-microsoft).
If you want to maintain the large sized photos you can send them using this free software that will Email the recipient a link to the photos so they can easily download them. Send photo and data files by Email up to 100 megabytes in size using: (http://www.yousendit.com)
Of course you can always use an Internet site to edit and store your photos. When you want to send them you do it using a link that is created by the software. For example, try Google’s free Picasa photo editing and storage website: (http://picasaweb.google.com) – Picasa is recommended by many professional photographers who say this is great for the beginner and the pro.
[bi-line]
Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College. 
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new 
COMMUNITY Tech School at: http://central-united-church.org/news. This is free and open to the public as a community service.
Gregory can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com