Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Facebook Do's and Don'ts


Facebook users trump the entire population of the United States, by more than 50 million, but there are seven things every Facebook user should stop doing, immediately.

"I try not to be, but I know some people who are very obsessed with it," said Kaci Kizziar. She is one of the 400 million people who use the social networking site that's popular and dangerous. "You just have to decide what you want the world to know and what you don't," said Kizziar.

Consumer Reports now has seven things everyone should stop doing on Facebook and it starts with logging on. Number one: You don't want to use a weak password.

"Keep the computer in a common area of the home, see what your kids are doing," said Frankie Goldberg. She's with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Cleveland and she agrees, too much information is dangerous.

Number two: Don't reveal your entire birthday because it's the key to your personal information. As a user, you have some control with the third Facebook "don't": Don't overlook the privacy settings.

Experts say tagging pictures or videos can also be problematic, even more so for kids because you may not want their information online. "Once you post that photograph, it's online forever and those pictures can be manipulated and they can be sent to hundreds, if not thousands of people within minutes," said Goldberg.

Number four: Don't tag anything with your child's full name. Number five: Don't mention you're going out of town, unless you want everyone to know there's no one home.

"In terms of privacy, yeah, you don't want to see people flaunting the idea that anybody can access anything," said Matthew Schnupp from Cleveland.

The sixth don't on the list: Don't let search engines find you, and you can do that by only letting friends - and not "friends of friends" - see your profile. And Number seven: Don't let kids go online alone.

"I think we are responsible for what our kids have access to, what we put on there and a lot of the fear, I think, stems from a misunderstanding of what is it that I'm really getting involved in," said Schnupp.

According to Facebook, users spend a combined 500 billion minutes on their site each month.

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