May 7, 2012

Privacy on Facebook is paramount

Did you know that more than 150 million people in the U.S. have a Facebook page? It doesn't surprise me, because I log on to the site daily. It's almost a ritual, just like that morning cup of coffee.

Each day, a large amount of information -- much of it personal data that can be used against you if you don't employ the proper privacy settings -- is posted on the website. And nearly 13 million U.S. users are unaware of, or don't employ, Facebook's privacy controls, according to a recent study by Consumer Reports. That's scary stuff when you consider the type of information Facebook users share on the site. The magazine estimated:

4.8 million people posted where they'd be on a certain day, a tip-off to burglars who may want to break into their homes.

4.7 million users "liked" a page about medical conditions or treatments, details a health insurer could use against them.

Facebook users in 7 million homes have been harassed, been threatened or had users log into their accounts without permission.

Employers and schools can also look at your posts. Even the government tracks your data. Consumer Reports uncovered a 2009 IRS training manual that shows employees how to use social media to assist in resolving taxpayer cases.

The best line of defense is to keep your private and/or sensitive information off of Facebook or to employ strict privacy settings.

If you care about your privacy, you may not have much of it left on Facebook unless you use the proper privacy settings.

by Veronica Sanchez - May. 6, 2012 08:13 PM 12 News

Privacy on Facebook is paramount

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