Privacy is the prevailing and principal concern for adults using Facebook. One reads, almost daily, of some or other security breach which allows the informations users store on Facebook to be accessed by less than scrupulous organisations. The problem though it also the reason for Facebook’s popularity – to bring together everything you want to share about yourself and invite your friends to view it is an incredible opportunity but it does also constitute a threat to your privacy.
Facebook has been successful in consuming the way most people arrange to meet IRL (in real life, for those who do not follow the particular twists and turns of internet parlance). The trouble with this is that that it opens up the process too much, it leaves your details and details of what you do exposed (even at the most stringent privacy setting there is likely to be someone who has access).
The cure might not necessarily to leave the site alone all together. Nobody can deny that social networks provide a fantastically easy way to keep in touch over long distances or in the day-to-day. The best idea to keep your privacy is to post as little information as possible and not to use ‘apps’. The users o social media are bombarded by constant requests to become virtual labourers on their friends’ digital farms or mid level members of an imaginary criminal organisation or mafia, these inane diversions are embraced as harmless fun by a great many people but they exist to generate income for their creators, sometimes harmlessly by advertising but on occasion by harvesting information which you amy not realise you have allowed them to view and share with others.
If you intend to use Facebook (with a stripped down profile offering only your name and a photo so your friends can verify your identity) the inbuilt email system is perfectly useful for keeping in touch. It is, though, just that – an email system – you must have an email address, everyone does. So, why not just email your friends. The art of emailing seems to have gone out of fashion, the 90s saw a surge in online communication taking away from postal services. This communication, although first by private email, has moved to sites like Facebook.
The point at which I am driving, furiously, is that you might feel that you need Facebook to keep in-the-loop with your friends, but you needn’t engage with the culture of reckless information sharing and inane time-wasting. Make it known that you keep in touch by email, private email. Ultimately the reason it is so easy for social networking sites to catch users is that they put everything in one place. Instand messaging, email, keeping in touch with friends and sharing your contact details all on one page. The internet is quick, you don’t need to save the two additional seconds it would take to use different servies for everything.
Ultimately my advice is use social networks sparingly, wisely if you like but also use them only when they provide the one effective means of doing what you want done and most definitely only post information which you would not mind being shared with the entire world.
Surf safely and securely.