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I just read a startling news story about how someone didn’t understand what NOT to post on Facebook.
The article titled “British spy chief’s cover blown on Facebook” tells how the wife of Sir John Sawers put up way too much information on Facebook. You can read the story at http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20090706/tc_nm/us_britain_mi6
You don’t have to be a spy chief to require a little privacy. In fact, it is a good idea not to publish where you live, what your family looks like, where you are going to vacation at, when you are out of town, when your parents are away, and so on. This is information that is fine to share with friends, but the whole world doesn’t really need to know and some people will use this kind of information to commit crimes.
Things like “We’re on vacation in XYZ” tell people that you are not home. Perfect for the opportunistic burglar. It does help if you have your privacy options set, but then you are assuming that a social networking site will not have a bug that allows people to get around the privacy settings. This isn’t a great assumption to make.
It is fine to have a profile on a social networking site, but do limit how much information you put up there. Just because you want to publish your life, it doesn’t mean that your family and friends want you to publish their lives too!!!
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET