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Facebook users beware!

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 05-02-2008

As a dad you may have gotten on Facebook. It’s not a surprise – they are adding thousands of new users a day (or is it a minute?). However, you should be aware of privacy issues that relate to your use of Facebook even if you don’t think you’re giving out data to more than your friends.


In a report in the Wall Street Journal, and then picked up on Public Radio and elsewhere, some of these dangers have been highlighted. The biggest problem relates to other plugins you or your “friends” may have downloaded. The user agreements on most (or all?) of these plugins for games, photo sharing and the like, state that you agree to share your data, AND the data of your friends, by using their software. So as a user, you may have posted your age, favorite books, maybe even sexual preferences, thinking you are sharing with a very small group of friends. However, if even one of these friends has downloaded another application, your data is now public. It’s a word to the wise. Not all of us are privacy crazy since so much about you is public anyway (jobs, schools, address, political donation). But would you want your health data or worse to get out because you shared it in some group on Facebook?


Me, I’m limiting mine to the schools I attended and taking down my age tonight. Another thing you can do is tweak your privacy settings by clicking on Privacy in upper right hand corner of screen. This functionality is pretty complicated. Be prepared to spend ten minutes figuring out what to do.


And my daughter doesn’t get on until she pierces her ears and learns to drive at eighteen.


 – Paul Banas