With it emerging just how much data Facebook has on you, and how it can be exploited, people are starting to consider whether they should have been aware of the privacy implications from the start.
Although there are questions being raised about Facebook’s data practices, there are certainly ways in which users can be more careful with the information they share. Paul Ducklin, Senior Technologist at Sophos, has looked into the issue, and commented on the dangers of social media T&C’s
Paul Ducklin, Senior Technologist at Sophos, comments on the dangers of social media T&Cs….
- What are the dangers of not reading the T&C’s when signing up to things like Facebook?
- It’s not enough just to read the T&Cs when joining – you need consider the implications of all the security and sharing settings for any social media site long after you’ve signed up. After all, new features and settings might be added, which you’ll need to consider; and anyway you might change your own attitudes to privacy over time.
Just as importantly, you need to keep track of what powers you’ve granted along the way to any plugins, extensions or apps you’ve added to your account, especially apps that can post new content or communicate with your friends in your name. If your account ends up being used by crooks to attack other people, that makes you part of the cybercrime problem, as well as being a victim of it.
- What are normally the most privacy-infringing parts of these contracts? e.g. photographs, data on where you live etc.
- There’s no universal answer to “what settings put your privacy most at risk,” because different people are willing to share different parts of their lives.
Just remember that by giving away one tiny piece of information at a time – a holiday destination here, your home address there, your birthday somewhere else – you may be leaving behind a social engineering goldmine for crooks who want to pose as you in the future.
However, if there’s one data-sharing setting I’d suggest to review first, it’s your location. Do you really need to tell anyone who wants to know where you are at every moment? Does everyone need to know every twist and turn of every training run, every bike ride, every car journey you make?
- How can people be more careful with their data online in the future?
- Stop. Think. And only then connect. Remember: if in doubt, DON’T GIVE IT OUT!