In recent months Facebook has implemented many changes. These changes were not embraced by the users I interviewed, although most users are doing their best with the information and misinformation that has come from the experts of Facebook. The gurus have been guilty of giving users information that is incomplete at best. If you have made decisions based on these tidbits of information, my heart goes out to you but, if you are waiting for the dust to settle, I applaud you.
MySpace has had its share of issues with pages being extremely slow to load, pages not displaying correctly, and downloaded music that wouldn’t load, all happening after a MySpace website overhaul. It was reported that MySpace lost 10 million users in a month after the site overhaul when users felt enough was enough and the complaints were falling into the black hole of cyberspace.
FB issues with changes
Is Facebook headed in the same direction as MySpace? Facebook has made many changes that have not been embraced by the users. Prior to February 2011, users could post and comment on the walls of other pages. Currently, there is no option for an administrator of a page to ban another page for spam-like behavior, which can be part of social behavior. Facebook and users on Facebook have opened themselves up to a new game where the rules are unclear.
Users on Facebook, including businesses, give their information freely; information that most users consider private. Users on Facebook have perceived that there is security, when in fact, nearly all information can be seen by any user. It is a matter of time before people realize all this information can be used for things that are not in their best interests.
Information for sale -cheap
Places such as Spokeo and WhitePages are now selling your information that has been gathered from social media sites like Facebook to anyone willing to pay $2.95 a month. Things like: pictures you have posted on Facebook, your credit score, home value, income, age, and even a picture of your home.
The New Virus
Here’s the thing. Social media has been all the rage for a several years. The new “virus” has become social networking. While being social, it seems we have forgotten about the boundaries that need to exist in our network. We share a lot of information on our profiles.
I remind you that anyone can put up a website in a matter of minutes, make a Facebook page and get people to befriend them and set up an email address and look legitimate. What has happened to protecting our own information? When did protecting your information become a social media site’s responsibility?
The Only Private Information
The bottom line is that if you don’t want this information public, keep it to yourself. Yes, this is public information but once you see all your current information in one place it can and should be concerning. Knowing that almost anyone can afford $2.95/month for a ton of information on thousands of people is amazing, and not in a good way.
Freely given information
Lots of people are more than a little overly protective of their email address when opting-in a website to get a newsletter or a free eBook. Many people have confessed they MUST see the privacy statement before they will give their email address. Yet, on social media sites, the same people freely give, not one, but many email addresses and phone numbers for themselves. No one has to steal our information; we give it to them freely.
Privacy on FB
Should we be concerned about privacy on Facebook? Absolutely. Remember, if you put the information out there, it can be compromised. Most people are aware of security, but when something happens to your information, you are responsible, not a social media site. Facebook is a company with 600 million users. If you have a security issue, you can expect large corporation behavior. Do you know the laws about a breach of information?
Paranoid or Cautious
Should you be paranoid? No. But you should be cautious when it comes to your information. When your information gets compromised, your blissful nights come to an end very quickly. When that happens, the finger-pointing begins quickly and the responsibility is slow to come to the surface.