How to really protect your privacy on Facebook

It’s not just you. A lot of people are concerned about their privacy on Facebook. Some are worried about being tracked, even when they aren’t logged in. Some are worried about unintentionally sharing private information or opinions that can threaten their reputation or relationships. Others worry about exposing the private data on their machine through some tricky attack.

As Facebook’s new Timeline is being introduced now is the perfect time to think about how you use Facebook. We have given you 3 things to do before you activate Facebook’s new Timeline. We hope you’ll take those steps to review what you have and will be sharing and with whom. What more can you do?

You use smart passwords and have your PC patched and protected. You know, of course, the most important privacy feature on Facebook is the ‘Post’ button. If you make a point of NEVER sharing anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother or your worst enemy to see publicly, you’re off to a good start.

 But what extra step can you take prevent invasive tracking and protect the private data on your computer?

Here’s what Sean from F-Secure Labs recommends: Do all of your social networking in a one browser. Use one browser exclusively for “public” behavior. Then use a separate browser for all of your private banking, shopping and viewing. This strategy helps you avoid worries about tracking and information bleeding between your private and public lives.

Want to be even safer? Use a dedicated machine for your social activity. This is an extremely wise strategy if you use your PC to manage your finances and or business.

An added advantage to using a ‘public’ browser or PC for your social networking is that you’ll constantly remind yourself that what you share online stays online.

So we want to know. What do you think of Facebook’s new Timeline?

Cheers,

Jason

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Patriot Act Government Surveillance Nothing to Hide

The one question that could change the privacy debate

How important is it to ask the right question? Our Security Advisor Sean Sullivan thinks it's so important that it can either help or hurt your cause. Most anyone who has debated the issues of government surveillance and online tracking by corporations has likely faced someone who dismisses concerns with "I don't have anything to hide." This is apparently a very popular sentiment. 83 percent of respondents in the United Kingdom answered "No" to the question "Do you have anything to hide?" in a new F-Secure survey. "You might as well be asking people – are you a dishonest person?" Sean wrote in our latest Threat Report (like goes to PDF). "The question is emotionally charged and so of course people react to it in a defensive manner – I think it is perfectly natural that 83% of people said no." Sean suggested another question that reframes the debate: "Would you want to share everything about your life with everyone everywhere, all the time, forever?" Think about just your Google Search history. Seriously, take a look at it -- here's how you can see it (and delete it). "And my prediction was proven correct – 89% of respondents did not want to be exhibitionists," he wrote. Both questions, he notes, at the core ask, "Do you think privacy is important?" One does it in a way that's accusatory. The other in a way that's explanatory. Sean suggests that we all have things in our past we'd rather forget and asking the right question can get people to see that quite quickly. There's reason to pessimistic about privacy given that there has been substantial change in U.S. government policy since the Snowden revelations began. But even that may change soon with bipartisan revisions to the the law that began legalized mass surveillance. This imperfect attempt to limit the NSA's bulk collection is a promising start of a major shift away from methods that have done more to stifle digital freedom than to achieve the unachievable goal of creating a world without threats, if it's indeed just a start. Maybe we're starting to ask the right questions. [Image by Ashleigh Nushawg | Flickr]

May 1, 2015
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kids laptop remote working take your kids to work

How about ‘Take Your Work to Kid’ Day?

In the United States, Australia and Canada, April 23 will be Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day. But given our changing economy and workplace, is one day enough to improve the bonds between parent and child? Originally created to give girls a chance to "shadow" their parents in the workplaces women have so often been excluded from, Take Your Kid to Work Day, as it's often called, was expanded in 2003 to include boys as a way to help all kids see "the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life." It's a nice ideal, but it isn't much of a reality, at least in many industrial countries. Americans spend an average of 1,788 hours a year at work. Most parents with full-time jobs will spend almost two-thirds of their day working and sleeping, leaving little time for anything else. Hopefully your country is a little better at balancing work/home. Finnish workers, for instance, spent 1,666 hours on average at work in 2013 that's 122 hours or 3 full weeks less than their American counterparts. Don't be jealous: German workers only averaged 1,388 hours at work in 2013. Chances are wherever you live your kids already see you at work. A 2012 survey found that 60 percent of Americans are email accessible for 13.5 hours a weekday with an extra 5 hours on the weekend. Given the extraordinary demands work makes on us, perhaps you can make a demand on your work to be a bit more flexible. Given that we're nearly always accessible, why can't parents plan around their kids' schedules and get some work done? Activities like sports, dance, karate and other arts offer parents a chance to be an active observer of their kids while getting some work done on a mobile PC or device while their children are being supervised by another adult. Given that 70 percent of millennial use their own devices for work, it's likely that younger parents already do this to some degree on their phones and tablets. But they're likely not thinking about potential data leakage that can occur, especially when using public Wi-Fi built on old technology that could expose your identity and possibly even your email. But with security and a virtual personal network -- like our Freedome VPN -- you can be about as secure in the office as you're out in the world seeing how your kids work, as they get another chance to see you. Cheers, Sandra [Image by Wesley Fryer | Flickr]        

April 21, 2015