Paranoid on Facebook

It’s an application that helps me get together with my pals online. Once a college group is now spread all over the globe. I have a dude in China too! Not many Malayalees end up in China. Once in a while I check their profile to see how they are doing. What I find is really interesting.

There are people who update their status with up to the minute details. I have seen status updates such as “In washroom. Not now.” There are birth dates, phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses, and wall conversation that reveals your emotions and whereabouts completely – all available to the public. Some are even in the race to collect as much friends as possible.

Facebook is a good tool for thieves waiting for you to leave your home. When you update your status as “heading to town for dinner”, they will be heading to your home.

Some are very candid in showing their birth date, that they don’t realize their Social Security Numbers could be deduced from it and their demographics. This is possible according to a research published by “The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” on July 7, 2009 and that’s all needed for an identity theft – name, date of birth and social security number (in Canada its social insurance number).

What about phone numbers and email addresses? Isn’t that a good deal for spammers and telemarketers? I would recommend facebook users to restrict information within the circle of your friends you trust. For some good practices on facebook, here is a good read – http://www.sophos.com/security/best-practice/facebook.html . Try to update your status that happened in the past such as “enjoyed the great dinner at the Haveli”.

So much for now hoping these thoughts will be published in my facebook notes soon.

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