TechWeb

Symantec Tips For Guarding Facebook Privacy

May 31, 2010 (04:05 AM EDT)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=225200585


With Facebook continuously under fire for its privacy policies, Symantec is offering six tips for users of the social network who want to protect their personal information.

Topping the list released Friday is to never share the password used to enter the site. Not even a best friend or spouse is a safe haven.

Users of Facebook and other social networks should also be aware of the "digital crumbs" they leave behind, Symantec said. The security vendor warns that photos, videos and comments posted on the Web are often there forever, so never post anything you wouldn't want a grandmother or future employer to see.

Also, never post sensitive information, such as a phone number, e-mail or birthday; and there's no need to share status updates, such as, "Off to Vegas for the weekend," Symantec said. Such information could be useful to criminals in your town.

Thirdly, Symantec advises social network users to ignore links, supposedly sent from friends, that have enticing titles like, "Check Out The Best Beach Bods." Chances are, the link came from a hacker who broke into a friend's account.

Another tip is to make sure links posted to a Facebook wall are safe. While Symantec suggest the use of its Norton Safe Web software, other security vendors offer similar products. Such applications scan for links that take people to sites built by hackers to steal personal information.

Symantec also advises people to limit their "circle of trust" on social networking sites to family and friends. "Ignore requests from people you do not know, it could be a cyber-criminal," the vendor said.

Finally, people need to stay informed of Facebook's privacy settings, which change often. In the last five years, Facebook's privacy policy has grown from about 1,000 words to today's 5,830 words.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged this week the growing complexity of the site's privacy controls by announcing plans to roll out simplified controls. The new tools will offer users one menu with three settings that determine who can see shared content: friends, friends of friends and everyone.