Archive for December, 2009


How to protect your privacy on Facebook

Social network recently overhauled its privacy policies; here’s how users can continue to safeguard their privacy.

If you want to stay out of people’s view, but still want to be on Facebook, here are some things to look out for as you take another look at your settings.

1. Some of your information is viewable by everyone.

2. Your list of friends might also be public.

3. You can hide yourself from web searches.

4. Beware of third-party applications.

5. Go over your list of friends.

6. Create custom friends groups.

7. Customize your status posts.

8. Let your friends know you have boundaries–in person.

9. Never assume complete privacy.

Read Full Article in Detail


Young kids searching Web for ‘porn’

According to Symantec, the fourth most popular search term for children 7 and under is “porn” – just ahead of kids’ networking site Club Penguin.

Other search terms popular with children included social-networking sites, celebrities and online games.

Full Article and Chart via SciTech Blog (CNN)


Facebook’s New Privacy Policy Amounts to Piracy

This month, Facebook made a sneaky change to its privacy settings, and the new policy is generating a fierce backlash. The social network’s default privacy setting now allows anyone to see a user’s personal information. While users are permitted to change those settings, through an option to limit how much information they share, many don’t yet realize that their Facebook updates can suddenly be seen across the Web. That’s not what most users signed up for, and many are angry.

Full Article via DailyFinance


Can the law keep up with technology?

“We should never expect that the judges are going to save us from our own worst impulses.”
–Jeffrey Rosen

A world without anonymity – Thanks to the Internet, it’s now relatively easy to find the value of a person’s home or the extent of their political contributions. Meanwhile, people use social media applications like Flickr or Twitter to share personal details with the world.

The result is a blurring of the lines between what ought to be considered private and public.

A time of ‘cultural shift’ – Another challenge for the law is the way the Web crosses state and international borders. Let’s say a Facebook user in England sues another user in Australia for defamatory comments posted on the site. Who has jurisdiction over the case, which country’s laws should be applied: England’s, Australia’s or those of the United States, where Facebook is based?

Full Article on CNN


One in six teens engage in ‘sexting’

Nearly one-sixth of teens who own cell phones have received nude or nearly nude images via text message from someone they know, according to a new survey on “sexting” from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The 800-person survey, released Tuesday by the nonprofit research group, found 15 percent of cell-phone-owning teens ages 12 to 17 had received nude or nearly nude photos by phone. Four percent of the teens said they had sent out sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves.

Older teens were more likely to send sexual images through text messages than younger teens. Four percent of 12-year-olds reported sending sexually suggestive images by text message, while 8 percent of 17-year-olds reported texting nude or partially nude photos.

The number of kids who are sexting should concern parents enough to make them talk to their kids about the dangers of sexting

Teens in some states, like Florida and Pennsylvania, have been prosecuted or threatened with prosecution on child pornography laws because they sent out nude images through text messages, the Pew report says. Ohio is considering legislation to criminalize sexting between minors; Vermont and Utah have downgraded penalties for first-time sexters, the report says.

Full Article by CNN


Privacy advocates slam Facebook change

Privacy advocates slammed revamped Facebook privacy controls on Thursday, saying the change masks a move to get members to expose more information online.

“Facebook’s new changes are obviously intended to get people to open up even more of their Facebook data to the public,” EFF lawyer Kevin Bankston said in a blog post.

“The Facebook privacy transition tool is clearly designed to push users to share much more of their Facebook info with everyone, a worrisome development that will likely cause a major shift in privacy level for most of Facebook’s users, whether intentionally or inadvertently.”

Prior to the change, Facebook users could keep everything but their names and networks private.

A newly created “public” category at Facebook now includes names, profile pictures, home cities, pages users have joined as “fans,” gender and friend lists.

“Facebook’s system now is if I am friends with you, I am friends with all the stupid apps you run too,” Ozer said. “Even if your friend takes a quiz, they could be giving away your personal information.”

Full Article with Video


Facebook board aims to keep kids safe

Facebook has joined forces with five Internet groups to help protect kids, the social-networking site said.

Making up the advisory board are Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, WiredSafety, Childnet International and the Family Online Safety Institute.

The highlight is deciding which Facebook friends see updates, photos or other posts at the time they’re posted — “something many of you have asked for,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said.

Full Article

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