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Facebook’s new privacy settings

December 13, 2009

In light of our recent post about protecting yourself on line (and why), you all should stop by Facebook and rethink your privacy settings.

Last week, Facebook rolled out new privacy settings.  As you signed into your account, you were prompted change your settings.  I felt that the old settings very fairly easy to understand:  selecting searchability, who can see your info, who can see your pictures, etc.  This new prompt merely asked if you wanted to change your settings to the new default.  But what are the new defaults?  Facebook doesn’t even tell you.

Most of us trust Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, so we opted to select the new defaults.  However, these new settings are aimed at expanding Facebook’s presence online — at the cost of your privacy.

Gawker recently did a couple posts about the changes, and how maybe even Facebook didn’t anticipate them.  The Gawker writers were able to see photos of Zuckerberg that had previously been hidden to the public (see below picture of him hard at work).  He might not have wanted them leaked.  Similarly, celebrities are leaving themselves open.  While its cool is see who Angelina Jolie is friends with on Facebook, I’m not sure she thinks it’s so cool.

So, I would suggest adjusting your privacy settings to what you think would be best and then Googling yourself and seeing what you can find.  THEN look at your profile through a friend’s account to see what they can see.  In a world where everything is becoming increasingly public and permanent, be sure to protect yourself (while still enjoying the pleasure of stalking on Facebook).

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