Category Archives: Media

Changing Your Facebook Privacy Settings to Max Protect

Note:  This is part 7 in the series “The Dangers of Facebook”

Part 7 Changing Your Facebook Privacy Settings = To Max Protect

Just like with internet browsers, there are settings you need to change on Facebook to protect yourself.  If you’ve read parts 1-6 then you know the dangers and what to protect, now I’ll walk you through how to do this.

Log in to Facebook

Go ahead, log in if you aren’t already.  Try not to get distracted by all the new stuff people have posted…OMG Kim went to McDonalds for lunch today!  And she had two orders of fries!  Awesome!  My life is now complete!  Wait, back on topic.  Look up at the right hand corner of the page in between your name and the logout button.  Scroll over  the Setting link up there and click on account settings.   Let’s start with your Name.   Remove your middle name or initial if it is on there.   I’ve touched on the email so go ahead and click ‘manage’ on the privacy section.

Managing your Privacy

Try to stay with me here..Facebook doesn’t make this all that easy.  You have to jump through a few hoops to change everything.  Click on profile and restrict everything to ‘Only Friends’.   You can also customize these if you want to block certain people from seeing things.  Click Save when you are done.   On that same page click on the link called “edit photo albums privacy settings”…it’s under the ‘Photos tagged of You’.    Change all of those to ‘Only Friends’.   Then click save settings at the bottom of the page.   Now go back to the main privacy page and again click on profile..for some reason Facebook doesn’t take you right back to where you were.  But get back to the page where you clicked to change your photo album privacy settings.

Click on the tab at the top that says ‘Contact Information’, it’s right text to a tab called ‘Basic’ which is where you were.   Now you can restrict any personal information you might have listed in your account.  I would change the settings on these so that ‘No one’ could view any of it except for maybe your website if you have one for your business.  But your friends should already know your phone number (which shouldn’t be on there), your address (they can call and get this), and your email.  So don’t make it visible.  Again, click save changes at the bottom when you are done.

Now on this same page click on the ‘Visit applications page in order to change settings for applications’.  It’s in blue at the top in a sentence.   Go through all of those and also restrict to ‘Friends Only’.

Search Privacy Settings

Alright now I need you to go and scroll over ‘Settings’ at the very top of Facebook and click on ‘Privacy Settings’.  It should take you to a page Called ‘Privacy’ that lists Profile, Search, News Feed and Wall, and Applications.  Click on Search to start.

You have some choices to make here.  Do you want to be visible to everyone?  It’s your decision and really it matters if you are interested in connecting with people from your past that may only find you this way.  Unless you are really paranoid then making yourself visible to everyone is okay.

Now you want to limit the ‘search result content’.  I would uncheck the ‘pages I am a fan of’ and ‘my friend list’.  And you can uncheck that profile pic if you are uncomfortable with that.  Another way you can really protect yourself is to uncheck the ‘a link to add me as a friend’.  This forces someone to actually send you a message before they can be your friend.   If they really want to be your friend then they should send you a message…if that’s too hard for them then why be friends with them?  Finally decide whether you want to have a ‘public search listing’…is there any reason you want your Facebook profile to show up when your name is searched for on Google or another search engine?    When you are done click ‘Save Changes’ and click on ‘Privacy’ at the top.

News Feed and Wall

Once you are back to ‘Privacy’…I told you this wasn’t the easiest thing to do.  Click on News Feed and wall.  Here you need to decide if you want all of your friends to know when you post something to another friends page?  I uncheck all of this.  It’s up to you but if I post something to someone else’s page then it’s for them..not everyone.

Next click on ‘Facebook Ads’ at the top of that News Feed and Wall page.  It’s a tab at the top next to ‘Actions within Facebook’.   Change the ‘Allow ads on platform pages to show my information to’ No one.  Make sure this is set to ‘No one’.   Also set the ‘show my social actions in Facebok Ads to’ No one.  Once both of these are set to No one then click save changes at the bottom and click back to the main privacy link on that page.

Now click on the ‘Applications’ Section of the privacy page.  There are two tabs on that page…the overview and the settings.  Read the overview if you like but click on settings to make the changes.  I’m guessing 99.9% of you can’t click on the ‘do not share any information about be through Facebook API’ because you have some type of application installed on your account.  Now I would uncheck everything on that list. There is no reason that I can think of to have this information available in multiple places.  It’s just another way to protect yourself.   Click on Save Changes at the bottom of the page…DO Not Forget to do this on these pages.  Facebook has put these on the bottom of the pages only and usually below your initial screen.  Go back to the main Privacy Page.

Blocking People

Ok this should be a no brainer but if you know anyone from your past that you don’t trust, don’t want to talk to, or has harmed you then block them.  Take some time and think about anyone that would fit into this category…it may be someone who has harmed someone you know.  Do you have a crackhead in the family?

Changing Your Profile Information

Now it’s time to make some changes to your profile.  Go to your profile page and click ‘edit my profile’.  This link is found underneath your photo on the left.

Basic Information

Remove everything you can.  Your friends already know if you are a guy or a girl.  They know where you live and they know your sexual preference.  None of this information is needed for your friends.  It’s great for voyeurs and people that don’t know you.  Do not use your real bday and do not list your hometown.

Personal Information

If you have filled this out…go through everything and make sure you are not giving away any passwords to anything.  Make sure there isn’t anything on there that could be used against you by your employer or a co-worker.  Do your friends already know all of this?  Who is this information really for?

Contact Information

I recommend using an email address that you do not use for any logins for your bank, insurance, or credit cards.  Remove multiple emails.  There is no reason to have your phone number on there and you sure as hell don’t want your address listed.

Education and Work

This is really up to you.  You have to decide how much of this information you want visible and how much of it you feel needs to be hidden.

Summary

I’ve called this “Max Protect” and that’s just what it is.  Most people are probably going to opt for something in the middle…choosing to leave some of this information visible but take the time to go through it all and make a choice instead of blindly setting up your account.  That way if something should happen, at least you made a choice and live with the consequences.

Again, two things to ask yourself when trying to decide what to remove and/or make private:

  1. Don’t my real friends already know this information?
  2. If this isn’t there for my real friends then who is this information really there for?
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Dangerous Facebook Fan Pages

Note:  This is part 4 of the series on The Dangers of Facebook

Part 4 Dangerous Fan Pages

Time for me to scare away your fan pages.  No, hopefully not but there are a few things to consider and certain fan pages to stay away from.

Apartment or Housing Association Fan Pages

Are these necessary?  Do you want people to know where you live?  Becoming a fan of your apartment complex is a pretty clear sign that you live there.

Common Security Questions

Let’s take a look at some common security questions to see how they relate to fan pages.  These are questions used to protect accounts and reset passwords for all types of things like email, rewards accounts, banks, credit cards, health and car insurance, etc

  1. What is your favorite sport?
  2. What is your favorite team?
  3. What is your favorite tv program?
  4. What is the color of your father’s eyes?
  5. In what city were you born?
  6. What is your favorite color?
  7. What is your work address?
  8. What is the name of the high school you graduated from?
  9. To what city did you go on your honeymoon?
  10. Where did you vacation last year?

Ok…that’s enough of those.  Those were just a sample of 10 common questions that are commonly asked.  Let’s say your favorite team is the New York Giants and you have become a fan of them.  You might have given away the answers to questions 1 and 2.  Maybe not.  but maybe.

You’ve become a fan of “The Office” on your Facebook account…do you also list that as your favorite tv program?  Is your father’s pic on your Facebook account..showing his eyes?  Is your high school listed on there and were you also born in that city?  Are you a fan of the place you vacationed last year or went on your honeymoon?

Yes, I know this may be reaching some but just wanted everyone to be aware of this information.  Think about these things when you setup your security questions…whatever it is, don’t use it in your Facebook account.  Don’t refer to it at all.   The more information you make available the easier it is for someone to guess your password or security question answers.

Becoming a Fan reveals yourself to other Fans

You’ve just become a fan of your favorite bar in town.  Now you are getting friend requests from people who have seen you at that bar and are also fans of that bar, which is how they found you.  That’s great if you want to become Facebook friends with everyone from the bar…but obviously very dangerous because you don’t know any of those people.  Fan pages are great for businesses but very revealing to individuals on a lot of levels.

Don’t accept friend requests from people just because you are both fans of things.  You don’t know them…don’t become their friend.  Don’t become fans of things that could be considered controversial if you are looking for or will ever be looking for a job.  Recruiters may use this information to remove you from consideration or it can be used against you by a current or future co-worker.  Also, becoming a fan of political views reveals a lot about your personal beliefs.  This may or may not be something you really want to reveal.

Becoming a Fan of a Venue

I’ve started seeing more and more of these occurring.  Big concert venues are using Facebook to promote their concerts which is a great marketing strategy.  The problem is when you post on that page or confirm that you will attend that event.  If you post on that walls page, you just introduced yourself to thousands of people who you don’t know.  If you confirm that you will attend a concert on Dec 1st…you just confirmed that you will be out of the house that night.

There’s no reason to confirm on a Facebook page that you will be attending an event.  Why are you doing it?  Do not post something on that venue page’s wall either.  It’s one thing to post on a message board of your favorite band.  You create a user name and that’s it.  It’s not directly linked to the actual you…doing it on Facebook links to the real you.  See the difference?   That fan page is not a message board and don’t use it as one.  If you want to find out about events at a venue..sign up for their email list.  Why do you need to do it on Facebook?

Summary

There are plenty of things to think about before you sign up as a fan of something.  Think about what security answers you have out there and whether this fan page reveals that information.  Think about what type of people may also be fans.  What are the chances that a criminal is also a fan of the bar, the concert, or the restaurant that you just became a fan of?

You just introduced yourself to them and they may be waiting to see who divulges more information through wall postings and event confirmations.  And what about the guy who approaches you at the bar on Saturday night and says he remembers seeing you on the fan page…Sunday afternoon you get a friend request from him on Facebook.  Who is he?  What do you know about him?  If you become his friend..did you just reveal your address and when you would be out of the house and attending a function at that bar?

Get Ready for Part 5:  Your Naive Friends

Protecting Yourself From The Dangers of Facebook

Note:  This is part one of a multi part series on how to protect yourself on Facebook

After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to jump back into the blogosphere with something that I’ve been mulling over the past few weeks.  The dangerous side of Facebook.  Scared yet?  Facebook offers the chance to stay connected and reconnect with old and new friends.  In theory, it’s great…we all use and love it.  But you know who else loves it?  Criminals.  Identity Thieves.  Petty Thieves and worse.

So why is Facebook dangerous?  Quite simply there is a lot of personal information on it which is viewable to an audience who normally wouldn’t have access.  Most criminals can’t do the background work on a crime..it’s a big obstacle to overcome and protects us all.  Facebook knocks down that protective wall and exposes us.  Let’s examine ways to protect yourself other than deleting or wiping your profile clean.

Part 1:  Your ‘Friends’ List:

 

Not my friends!  You can’t take my friends away from me!  Hold on there…are these 500 people really your friends?  When is the last time you talked to any of them?  When is the last time you saw some of them?  Do you know if they have a criminal history?

Step 1 is to scrub that friend list of anyone who you don’t really know.  I think a lot of us have accepted friend requests from someone who knows someone that we know…maybe we met this person once but we don’t know them.  Keep your friends list limited to just that friends.  People you know and trust.

Guidelines to scrubbing the friend list:

1) Have you ever met this person?

2) Have you met them more than once?

3) Do you really consider them a friend?  Would you refer to them as a ‘friend’ in normal conversation or would you say that you simply ‘know who they are’?

4) Do they have a criminal history?

5) Do they have a history of abusing drugs?

What about High School Friends?

Be careful who you accept as a friend from High School.  Just because you had English class with someone 15 years ago does not mean that you know them.  99% chance they are not the same person you remember.  They may be perfectly normal and a model citizen.  Or they could be strung out on drugs or have a history of violence in the past 5 years due to something occurring in their personal life.  You don’t know because you don’t really know them as a friend.

What about exes?  What about friends of ex’s?  I think Chris Rock said it best “if you haven’t contemplated killing someone then you haven’t loved a *$%#”.  Is that person really over you?  Is that persons friend ok with the way you treated your ex or the way they perceive you treated your ex?  See what I am getting at?  Maybe the ex is completely over you but one of their friends never forgave you for cheating on their friend…that would be problematic.

Friends who post a lot

This is a hard one.  We all have them.  The friends who spend their day on Facebook posting about every little thing they do.  These people typically have hundreds of friends and use multiple Facebook applications and they tell you what and where they eat lunch and how mad they are when it rains or it’s too hot.  These friends should scare the crap out of you.

If you and that friend do something…it’s getting posted on their wall.  They go to your bday party…it’s on the wall.  They go to your child’s bday party..it’s on the wall.  They go feed your dog because you are out of town…it’s on their wall.  Their friends may be able to view info about your as well.  Make sure all your privacy settings restrict access to only your friends and not friends of friends.    A friend with an unscrubbed friend list is dangerous to you.  Maybe they like the way you look in your pic?  Maybe they like the way your car or house looks in your pic?

Your Teenaged Kids

This kind of runs together with the person who posts a lot.  Teenaged kids are the worst…Think about what their friend list may look like.  How many of their friends are petty thieves?  Your kid’s friends should not be able to view anything about you..keep them far far away from your profile.  Teenaged kids are very unstable in their relationships and easily influenced.  Not a good combo.  There are infinite possibilities that could occur and most of them are not pleasant.

In Summary

Avoid these types of friends on your Facebook Account:

1)       Remove friends that you don’t really know

2)      Remove friends that are simply acquaintances you’ve met through others

3)      Restrict access to your information including pics to ‘friends only’ and NOT ‘friends of friends’

4)      Remove High School friends who you have not seen, talked to, or plan to talk to ever again

5)      Consider removing friends who over post or ask them to not post information about your life..where you have been, where you live, etc

6)      Remove your teenaged kids

Part 2:  What information should you avoid putting into your Facebook Account?

Republicans or Democrats…Who is to Blame?

I decided to actually watch CNN tonight to hear what all the pundits had to say about the bailout failing to pass.  Let’s just say my head hurts now.  Before I even get into the Dems and Repubs, it’s amazing to me that we only hear one side of this argument.  Everything on the news is how the bailout just has to be passed and it was a major mistake not to pass it.  What about the other side?  

I even heard these morons say that yes the bailout is horrible but we just have to pass it.  We do?  Can’t we pass something else?  Don’t we have the power to rewrite bills or make new bills that may work better?  I seem to remember reading that in Government Class.  CNN completely ignored the other side of the argument in all their newscasts tonight.   It’s like I’m listening to the state run news network just repeating the talking points handed to them by the administration…strange feeling.  This is the United States of America, right?

Ok, now on to Congress…Now let me see, I’ll start with the Repubs blaming Pelosi’s speech (her Speech!) for the bill not passing. Seriously? 

  • Did your feelings get hurt?  How old are you idiots? 
  • Just once, just once, I would love to hear the Republicans take responsibility for their actions.  Guys you failed to get the votes to pass this bill.  End of story. 
  • They BLAMED THE SPEECH!  They continue to just amaze me.

Ok now I’m going to rip the Dems…so any Democrats out there who can’t take it then you better look away.

  • Pelosi why do you still have a job?  Every day that you wake up do you look in the mirror and just ask yourself if you can screw up as bad as you did the day before?
  • Did the Dems blame the Repubs for not getting enough votes?  They said that they got their fair share and the Republicans didn’t get theirs.  Are your legs broken?  Get off your asses and go get more votes if you believe in this thing so much.  WTF?  That’s the weakest argument I’ve ever heard…oh wait.  They blamed THE SPEECH!

So CNN went on to say that the house Republicans who voted against the bill were putting their re-elections ahead of the country.  But, then they went on to say that 90% of the calls into those same Repubs offices have been against the bailout.  Don’t they work for those people?  Aren’t they supposed to represent them?  I’m so sick of this crap about putting the country ahead of everything else…this is not the Soviet Union!  You are free to have differing views here in this country.  In fact, it’s healthy and natural. 

The majority of American people do not support this bill and the congress who represents them voted it down. So what’s the problem?  If it’s so important then explain it to the people of this country and stop trying to scare them into supporting it.  I mean, I know that’s Bush’s only motivational tactic but someone in congress should be able to do something.  How about those two idiots running for President?  Maybe they could explain it to the American people.  I’m pretty sure that’s how this whole thing called government was supposed to work.

And does anyone, anyone have a problem with the Democrats in Congress lining up behind President Bush on this? 

I know this post is long but I got one more thing to say.  Where is Dick Cheney?  Where do you think his money is?  Dubai?

Russian Propaganda

At least the BBC understands that everything the Bush Administration and Saakashvili spit out is far from the truth. 

The Bush administration appears to be trying to turn a failed military operation by Georgia into a successful diplomatic operation against Russia.

It is doing so by presenting the Russian actions as aggression and playing down the Georgian attack into South Ossetia on 7 August, which triggered the Russian operation.

I would guess that at least 90% of Americans think that Russia started this whole thing.  And John McCain is a moron if he truly believes the crap he says.

The Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain also sees in this conflict an opportunity to put Russia in the dock, declaring: “We are all Georgians now.”

We are not Georgians you fool.  We are Americans.  Most of our population has no idea where Georgia is and have no idea about the history of this conflict.  And isn’t it interesting that one country who has a long painful history with Russia finds very little fault in the Russians. 

Obama if you truly want to bring about change in this country, this would be a good opportunity.  Help wake people up in this country. 

The Georgia Fallout

You just can’t make things like this up:

The United States and Poland reached a long-stalled deal on Thursday to place an American missile defense base on Polish territory, in the strongest reaction so far to Russia’s military operation in Georgia.

What the hell is the US doing?  They couldn’t be more obvious.  Let’s see a deal that has been stalled for 18 months is all of a sudden agreed to after Georgia attacks the breakaway provinces and Russia responds. 

Why are we picking a fight with Russia?  And if you think this isn’t a big deal then let this soak in:

But the deal reflected growing alarm in countries like Poland, once a conquered Soviet client state, about a newly rich and powerful Russia’s intentions in its former cold war sphere of power. In fact, negotiations dragged on for 18 months — but were completed only as old memories and new fears surfaced in recent days.

Those fears were codified to some degree in what Polish and American officials characterized as unusual aspects of the final deal: that at least temporarily American soldiers would staff air defense sites in Poland oriented toward Russia, and that the United States would be obliged to defend Poland in case of an attack with greater speed than required under NATO, of which Poland is a member.

We are agreeing to protect Poland even moreso than our NATO allies???  What???  Who cares about Poland?   And who created those old Cold War fears?  Russia did not roll their tanks into Georgia unprovoked. 

How long before Russia sets up their own missile defense system in Cuba or Venezuela?  It wouldn’t be any different than what we are doing over there?  This is really maddening.  And the people of this country are just sitting and watching Bush drive us back into an arms race and worst case, another Cold War.

Georgia and Russia

Georgia began an offensive to regain control over South Ossetia late Thursday with heavy shelling and air strikes that ravaged South Ossetia’s provincial capital of Tskhinvali.

This is really a fascinating story and stunning no less.  Forget all the crap that McCain is spewing and the rest of the politicians are saying.   This is a very complicated region without easy answers and everyone can make a claim to the land.  Of course everyone wants the natural resources and the pipeline.  But, the one thing I think everyone should be asking is this:

Who Gave The Order for Georgia to Attack South Ossetia? 

That is the question I want someone in the West to ask.  Someone should have asked McCain.  There is no way that the Georgian President Saakashvili ordered this without consulting the US.  And if you think there is then just realize the following:

  • We sold them their weapons and we are selling them more
  • They want to join NATO and we are their biggest supporter
  • We have been training their military

So you really think after all this that they would attack without telling President Bush?  And when the Olympics are starting?  Now, if they didn’t…which I find impossible to believe…then we should be angry with them and it would be a slap in the face after all we have done to get them into NATO. 

But, they had to of given us the heads up on their attack.  So, we gave the OK for them to attack South Ossetia at the same time the Olympics were set to begin?  Does that make us crazy?  I think there’s a good case for that.   I just can’t figure out why Bush and Co. thought this made sense.  Why provoke Russia at this time?  They had to know that Russia would destroy Georgia after this and we are in no position to influence Russia at this point and public opinion is focused on the Olympics so it’s too difficult to rely on the humanitarian angle to stop the fighting.

Russia is going to do whatever it wants to do at this point which will include destroying as much of Georgia’s military equipment as possible (which we sold to them) and letting the rest of the world know that they can still flex their muscles. 

I just wish an American Journalist would ask that question:  Did the US know that Georgia was going to attack? and if we did, why did we give the OK?  As stupid as Bush and Co. have been, I just am shocked with this latest move.

Quick Update to this:

I think Reuters has a good story posted on this

To some NATO and EU diplomats, the crisis has vindicated their resistance to U.S. efforts to shoe-horn Georgia into the alliance under President George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda”.

“Thank heavens we didn’t take them in,” a senior envoy of one of the skeptical European states said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

As members, the Georgians could have invoked NATO’s Article V mutual defence clause, requiring nations to come to the assistance of an ally under attack.

“No one in NATO wants to be dragged into a war in the Caucasus because of Saakashvili’s miscalculation,” the diplomat said, adding that the Georgian president had been “badly advised” in sending troops into South Ossetia.

Just think about that last sentence and the words:  “Badly Advised”…