New Facebook privacy settings: 3 things to do now

1. Check out what’s coming.
On August 23, Facebook announced big changes are coming to the site’s privacy settings over the next week. We’ve identified the following changes. Even more changes are hinted at in the accompanying videos.

  •  For adults, “Friends”, “Public”, or “Customize” are now the three standard privacy settings for sharing. “Friends of Friends” is no longer an upfront option.
  • “Everyone” is now “Public”, which is the maximum audience for any adult post.
  •  For minors, “Friends of Friends” is still the maximum audience for a post.
  • Inline profile controls will now allow adults to choose share status updates with “Friends”, “Public”, or “Customize”.
  • You can now set the privacy levels of the elements on your profile through settings actually located on your profile.
  • You can change the privacy setting of a status update after it has been posted.
  • You can now choose to approve all posts or a photos you are tagged before they appear on your profile with Profile Review.
  •  It’s a little easier to check how others see your profile with a prominent button on your profile.
  • You can now tag anyone on Facebook. If a non-friend tags you, it will only appear on your profile if you approve it.
  •  You can tag a location on “anything” you post to Facebook.
  • Places is gone—Facebook is no longer in the Foursquare business.
  • You can now remove a tag of yourself on a photo, remove a tag and ask a friend to take it down or remove a tag and block the person who tagged you.

If you think that list is long, check out Facebook’s Dig Into the Details chart to get a sense of how much these changes will affect your Facebook experience . Yep. Much is changing.

Some say that these changes are a response to Google+. However Larry Magid, who works with Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board, says these changes have been in the works for months.

2. Make sure you are comfortable with your current settings.

This grid thing is going away.

It’s always a good time to check your Facebook privacy settings. The settings you have now will be converted into the new settings. You shouldn’t end up being shocked by what you’re sharing, unless you’re not aware of what you share now. Keep in mind that ‘Friends only’ will still exist in the new settings. Assuming you know your friends—which Facebook does, as stated in its recent Guide to Security (PDF)—“Friends Only” should be a safe route for most of what you share on Facebook.

 3. Be ready to opt-in into Profile Review
For  F-Secure Labs Security Advisor Sean Sullivan, the most promising new privacy feature is Profile Review. This feature allows you to approve of every photo or post that includes a tag of you before it appears on your profile. As you probably know, Facebook tends to opt you into any new feature, except if it prevents your from sharing. Hopefully as the changes go live, you’ll be asked to opt in to Profile Review.

If not, you’ll have to go to your Privacy Settings> Manage How Tags Work and click on “Change Settings”> Next to Profile Review click “Edit” > Click Turn On Profile Review. Note: This will not be available to you until all the changes have been completely rolled out to you.

We’re still investigating these changes and looking forward to bringing you more insight on the evolving Facebook privacy situation in the near future

Cheers,

Jason

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Is it OK to cheat on the AshleyMadison cheaters? (Poll)

The user register of AshleyMadison has been hacked. You don’t know what that is? Well, that’s perfectly fine. It’s a dating site for people who want to cheat on their spouses. Many dislike this site for moral reasons, but there is apparently a demand for it. The Canadian site has some 37 million users globally! Some user data has already been leaked out and the hackers, calling themselves Impact Team, have announced that they will leak the rest unless the site shuts down. So this hack could contribute to many, many divorces and a lot of personal problems! "We will release all customer records, profiles with all the customers' sexual fantasies, nude pictures and conversations and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses." The Impact Team This is one hack in a long row, not the first and certainly not the last site hack where user data is leaked. But it is still remarkable because of the site’s sensitive nature. Think about it. What kind of information do you store in web portals and what bad could happen if that data leaks out? If you are cheating on your spouse, then that is probably one the most precious secrets you have. Disclosure of it could have devastating effects on your marriage, and maybe on your whole life. Millions of users have put their faith in AshleyMadison’s hands and trusted them with this precious secret. AshleyMadison didn’t misuse the data deliberately, but they failed to protect it properly. So it’s not that far-fetched to say that they cheated on the cheaters. What makes the AshleyMadison hack even worse is the site’s commercial nature. Users typically pay with a credit card issued in their own name. They can appear anonymously to their peers, but their true identities are known to the site owner, and stored in the database. So any leaked information can be linked reliably to real people. The sad thing is that the possibility of a leak probably never even crossed the mind of these 37 million users. And this is really the moral of the story. Always think twice before storing sensitive information in a data system. You must trust the operator of the system to not misuse your data, but also to have the skills, motivation and resources to protect it properly. And you have very poor abilities to really verify how trustworthy a site is. This is not easy! Refraining from using a site is naturally the ultimate protection. But we can’t stop using the net altogether. We must take some risks, but let’s at least think about it and reflect over what a compromised site could mean. This hack is really interesting in another way too. AshleyMadison is a highly controversial site as cheating is in conflict with our society’s traditional moral norms. The hack is no doubt a criminal act, but some people still applaud it. They think the cheaters just got what they deserved. What do you think? Is it right when someone takes the law in his own hands to fight immorality? Or should the law be strictly obeyed even in cases like this? Can this illegal hacking be justified with moral and ethical arguments? [polldaddy poll=8989656]       Micke   Image: Screenshot from www.ashleymadison.com  

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At Re:publica 2015, our Chief Research Officer Mikko Hypponen told the main stage crowd that the world's top scientists are now focused on the delivery of ads. "I think this is sad," he said. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbF0sVdOjRw?rel=0&start=762&end=&autoplay=0] To give the audience a sense of how much Twitter knows about its users, he showed them the remarkable targeting the microblogging service offers its advertisers. If you use the site, you may be served promoted tweets based on the following: 1. What breakfast cereal you eat. 2. The alcohol you drink. 3. Your income. 4. If you suffer from allergies. 5. If you're expecting a child. And that's just the beginning. You can be targeted based not only on your recent device purchases but things you may be in the market for, like a new house or a new car. You can see all the targeting offered by logging into your Twitter, going to the top right corner of the interface, clicking on your icon and selecting "Twitter Ads". Can Twitter learn all this just based on your tweets and which accounts follow? No, Mikko said. "They buy this information from real world shops, from credit card companies, and from frequent buyer clubs." Twitter then connects this information to you based on... your phone number. And you've agreed to have this happen to you because you read and memorized the nearly 7,000 words in its Terms and Conditions. Because everyone reads the terms and conditions. Full disclosure: We do occasionally promote tweets on Twitter to promote or digital freedom message and tools like Freedome that block ad trackers. It's an effective tool and we find the irony rich. Part of our mission is to make it clear that there's no such thing as "free" on the internet. If you aren't paying a price, you are the product. Aral Balkan compares social networks to a creepy uncle" that pays the bills by listening to as many of your conversations as they can then selling what they've heard to its actual customers. And with the world's top minds dedicated to monetizing your attention, we just think you should be as aware of advertisers as they are as of you. Most of the top URLs in the world are actually trackers that you never access directly. To get a sense of what advertisers learn every time you click check out our new Privacy Checker. Cheers, Jason

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