Over the past few days while online on Facebook I have come across this post that is going extremely viral on my news feeds. The hoax claims that Facebook Privacy Settings have been changed, and that soon your Facebook privacy will be exposed to the public. Surprisingly nearly all of my 1000+ friends have fallen to the hoax.
Here is what the recurring scam is stating:
I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future. With this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. Copy and paste to be on the safe side”
Facebook has since responded to this hoax and stated: “You may have seen a post telling you to copy and paste a notice to retain control over things you share on Facebook. Don’t believe it. Our terms say clearly: You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook and you can control how it’s shared through your privacy and application settings. That’s how it works, and this hasn’t changed.”
But here are some of the tips to keep your Facebook account safe:
- Think about who you add
It’s not all about the numbers of friends. Remember when you accept a friend request you provide your new friend with access to lots of information about you. This includes posts, photographs, messages and all the background information that you write about yourself. However Facebook gives you the authority to unfriend and even block anyone when you sense your account is not safe.
- Check your Facebook Privacy Settings
Recently, Facebook changed the default privacy setting to share information publicly, with friends, friends of friends or even with no one at all. It’s worth spending some time to go through your settings and adjust where necessary. Facebook provides exclusively a wide variety of settings definitely worth allowing you to create a profile that’s right.
- Be smart about your password
Try not to use the same passwords on all of your accounts. It’s also important to be mindful of where you are sending your updates and the types of security questions you set.
- Be aware of where you sign in from
Check that the computer that you sign in from doesn’t store your email address and password. It seems simple but often it’s easy to accidently choose it to ‘remember you’. Make sure you have the appropriate privacy settings on your browser.
- Be careful what you say
Make sure that what you say in status updates and comments is something that you would be comfortable seeing on the front page of a newspaper. Once you post it, anyone that sees it can copy and post it elsewhere, or take action based on it.
- Watch out for Phishing Attacks
There have been many attempts to get users to give up their login and passwords by tricking them with fake emails from Facebook. Never select any email links asking you to click to reset your password. Always go directly to Facebook – if there is a problem, Facebook will notify you on site.
- Take immediate action
If friends start receiving spam from you or status updates appear that you didn’t make, your account may have been compromised. If you think this has happened, immediately change your password. If you can’t log in to your account, go to the Help link at the bottom of any Facebook page and click on Security to notify Facebook about your account.
- Protect your mobile device
Be mindful about who might have access to your mobile phone. Many phones today have apps that connect you into many social networking sites such as Facebook. Therefore, if you use these apps, make sure you log out of them when you are no longer using them.
- Monitor suspicious activity
Watch out for suspicious activity on your Wall, News Feed and Facebook Inbox. Never, ever click on suspicious links. They can often look enticing. Be smart, be aware, be careful, and you will be safe