Wondering whether you should keep using Facebook? Our Social Media Specialist, Lincoln Ho, offers some advice:
I'm sure the recent Facebook data scandal probably has people on edge or confused as to how to approach social media safety. There’s no need to delete all your apps and cut your social circles. Don't be afraid, there's nothing to worry about if you follow some basic tips!
Nothing is secret - Remember that Facebook ain't a confession booth. Everything you post online can be seen. Just like gossip in real life, friends could sometimes be the biggest leak of information. Be careful what you choose to post, as privacy settings won't protect you from screenshots and shares.
Don't be alarmed - Yes, advertisers have entered the mobile data bubble. With any website or computer app, programming has allowed targeted ads based on your everyday habits such as shopping, driving or online searching. These are algorithms and programs that have done this, not individual persons. No advertiser nor researcher has your own personal information on Facebook which you have not already made public. Your photos are safe; no employee is reading through your statuses to see what you might want to eat next.
Protect your friends - Don't friend people who have no mutual friends with you, and protect your friends from being friended by fake accounts and bots by hiding your friends list. On desktop settings, click on the privacy tab, then change the privacy of 'Who can see your friends list' to friends, or even only yourself if you'd like.
Confirm messages - If you receive a message with a link from someone you haven't talked to in ages, do NOT open the link. First, confirm with that individual if they sent a message in the first place. They may have opened a similar link, which sent out the same link to everyone on their list. Though these are a nuisance, they generally pose no security threat to you, nor your friends; they only exist to duplicate themselves.
Be location smart - Location information on apps can be a useful thing for personal uses - GPS, traffic congestion, pop-up shopping centre maps, and geotagged photos while on vacation. However, be careful with sharing too much information. Those vacation photos can wait to be posted if no one is back home (so thieves don't break in). Don't snap photos at home and share them publicly. If you want to share the photo, alter the geotag by going into the photo settings to change its location. You may also go into your camera settings and turn off location tags.
Lincoln manages the Archdiocese of Edmonton Facebook account at @archedmonton.
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