People Are Accidentally Exposing More on Facebook Because of Confusing Privacy Changes

privacyPopular social networking site Facebook is taking some heat (what else is new?) for befuddling users with their capricious and constant security changes. A rather thorough seven-year study from Carnegie Mellon University found that once Facebook started modifying their interface and default settings, people suddenly started sharing more. And they don't think it was intentional. The researchers surmised that this is simply because people are confused. "While people try to take control of their personal information, the network keeps changing," one researcher stated. While another remarked that Facebook's offering of various privacy settings make users think they have more control over what they share, but really, the confusion leads to "increases in disclosures of sensitive information to strangers." 

Fantastic.

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I have one way in which you can protect all of your personal information on Facebook. You know what I'm going to say! You do! Oop, here it comessss!!!

Quit Facebook.

My growing tired of reading updates about people's Diet Coke addictions; annoying bosses; and what the weather was like 300 miles away aside, I just started getting a little creeped out by all the privacy stuff. It seems like every day there are new changes rolling out with the site, and I don't know, it just made me a little uncomfy. So I peaced. Do I miss it? No. In fact, here's a little taste of how myopic my world can be sometimes: I actually occasionally forget it exists. And that's a good thing.

I heard a great quote recently: "If you wouldn't want it on a billboard in Times Square, don't put it on Facebook." It really is that simple. If you don't want people being able to obtain certain information about yourself, omit it from your profile -- even if you think it's protected under the most private of privacy settings.

Or, again, deactivate or delete your account altogether. Chef's choice.

Do you ever get concerned with Facebook privacy?


Image via Alan Cleaver/Flickr

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