Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Social Media and Privacy

More on Facebook settings
A few weeks back I wrote about setting your privacy settings in Facebook. After some more reading and following the controversy. I again encourage you to go and carefully set each preference.

There are 170 privacy settings.

Think twice about setting Friends of Friends. If you have a couple hundred Friends, some of which you barely know, they could have quite a “variety” of Friends, some of which you would never want to know let alone have any of your personal information.

Also, think about what your Friends are unwittingly allowing to be shared about you to third-party advertisers and marketers and gamers. You can’t control this, but you can control what you share. Keep it under control by not sharing too much information with them in the first place.

And, really, some of your settings should be “only me”.

Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options, New York Times
Thoughtful—and angry—piece about FB privacy crisis from @zephoria.

Check yourself!
This article, Online Privacy: Check Yourself (Before You Wreck Yourself), at FastCompany, has some great ideas that would wise to follow. The first one is the most effective...don’t want mom to see it, or your nephew’s creepy friend, or your boss? Then don’t post it.
In an online world where personalization rules, there are two main ways to protect your personal data: Be vigilant about what you publish online; and be willing to roll up your sleeves and dig into the settings area of the tools and services you use to do so.
  1. Does it pass the spouse/boss/client/date/stalker litmus test? ...The safest way to interact online is under the assumption that everything you put in will come out—on the original site as well as in search results and on partner Web sites. Stop and do an extra gut check before you post that status update, photo, or comment, because once it’s out there, it can be impossible to take it back.

    With aggregators, advertising partnerships, search engines, and an explosion in standards and ways for different Web services to share data, that one piece of content has legs—and show up in places you’d never expect, even if you delete it in the first place you put it.

  2. Lean on the “Log Out” button. The best way to ensure Web sites aren’t collecting information about you based on a particular identity is to log out of services like Facebook or Google when you visit other Web sites (or even clear your cookies when you do).

    Facebook’s current partnerships with sites like IMDB and Yelp means those apps have access to your Facebook data if you stay signed into Facebook when you visit them. Google associates Web search keywords with your Google account if you’re signed in when you do them. Get into the habit of logging out when you're not using a particular service.

  3. Audit your most used web service settings. Facebook’s privacy settings include over 170 options. Take the time to audit them, and make sure you’re in control of what's shared and how.

    Your Google Account Dashboard lists all the services and data associated with your Google account—-take a look to manage your privacy settings for each. For a real eye-opener, check out your Google Web Search History (and consider disabling tracking if you don’t like what you see).
  4. Go incognito. When you do want to surf the Web without leaving tracks behind on your computer, you can—to an extent. All the major browsers (like Firefox and Chrome) offer “private browsing” modes, which, when enabled, don't save text entered into web forms, automatically delete cookies and Web history entries, and won't list any files you download in your history lists. Keep in mind private browsing mode doesn’t mean that Web sites don't have access to your IP address (and general location) and that they don't save information you enter on them—they do. However, incognito mode prevents cookies from getting associated with other sites you’ve surfed online. 
Good habits, a healthy dose of paranoia, and a willingness to dig through a Web site and your browser's settings panels are the best tools in your online privacy arsenal.
Staying Professional while being Personal
Because I’m active in social media, I have found these articles helpful. It can be a good thing and our leaders have asked us to be active in a positive way. So here are some thoughts.

10 Golden Rules of Social Media, Aliza Sherman
Balance Personal and Professional in Social Media, Dawn Foster

Hope something here helps you in your online interactions.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love love love all this information! It is exactly what I was looking for, and was concise and to the point, and I trust you! Thanks, Ellen!


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