Sorry about the wait, I’ve been meaning to do some more work on this blog, but I am on holiday you know. I can see that lots of people are interested in this so I am going to tell you a bit more about what I found.
The first thing is that when you are logged in to Facebook, at the top of your page you will see a button called Settings and in there one of the options is to edit your privacy settings. Some people obviously don’t know that or don’t know how.
If you set this to only allow your friends to see your records, you will be pretty safe, but if not, then you are pretty transparent.
I entered in a common name by way of a random search. I will not provide all the details, but this will give you an idea of what I found out about this random person who had not set their security settings appropriately, obviously not realising the implications.
This person is a 29 year old atheist. I could see how many friends they have and what their names are. I also found that I could see all the details of several of that persons friends Facebook accounts.
I saw that the person hda been in a relationship until November last year and that they are working in the armed forces and have been in that role for over 10 years.
I was able to see hundreds of photos and all the people in the photos, including some from overseas trips, were tagged with their names and in many cases I had access to their pages.
Reading the Wall to Wall messages I was able to find out about things like their favourite foods and what sort of material they like to read.
I found out what the persons favourite films, books and activities were and the list goes on.
Off course Facebook isn’t he only place where you can get lots of information about people, but it is one of the easiest and you don’t have to have any special skills.
My conclusion is that unless you want your life to be an open book, you really should be sure that you set your security levels carefully. The phenomenon of trust, where people share much more of themselves on facebook than virtually any other social networking application is something that we should all be concerned about.
What can people find out about you on Facebook? Much more than most people think. It could very easily be abused. It would be very easy for example for unscrupulous advertising companies to find out about your interests and Spam you.
While this blog is starting to get a good following, I would love to get more readers and encouraging me to keep writing. If you feel that my blog is interesting I would be very grateful if you would vote for me in the category of best blog at the NetGuide Web Awards. Note that the form starts each site with www whereas my blog doesn’t and is of course http://luigicappel.wordpress.com.
Thanks so much for your support:)