Take Control Of Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook data breach hits Android users

 

Your Facebook privacy settings are important.

Back in April, we wrote about the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica data saga.

Despite Facebook’s attempt at smoothing things over, the scale of this violation illustrates how Facebook’s infrastructure was designed to work.

It wasn’t so much as a data breach, as it was a way of operating for commercial reasons. It all came down to Facebook’s terms of service. Its API was structured to allow third-party developers to raid user data without consequence.

Why?

Simply because it is an effective way to push ad revenue and digital activity.

Of course, now Facebook is saying that developers abused it. But the evidence suggests they encouraged app developers to do this.

Take control of your Facebook privacy settings

One way to make sure your data isn’t pillaged it to ‘trash and burn’ your Facebook account

But for some, cutting themselves off from their social media online lives is a step too far.

If you are one such person, here are some simple steps you can take that will stop apps and websites accessing information like your friend list, gender and information you’ve made public.

You can just disable all apps on your account, but that means you won’t be able to log into sites using your Facebook login. Plus, you won’t be to use games or apps via your Facebook account, including apps such as Twitter, Instagram and others.

What you can do is:

  • Go to the small triangle at the top right hand corner of the page, click on it and scroll down to ‘Settings’ and click on it
  • On the left hand side click on the Apps icon
  • From there, click the ‘Edit’ button under ‘Apps, Websites and Plugins.’
  • Click ‘Disable Platform.’

If you don’t want to disable all apps on the same page, you can limit the type of information that apps access:

  • From the same page, click ‘Edit’ under ‘Apps Others Use’
  • Then uncheck the types of information that you don’t want apps to be able to access

Isn’t it time you took back control of your data?

Facebook’s Violation Of Our Privacy Also Affects Android Users

Facebook data breach hits Android users

It has come to light that if you have the Facebook Messenger installed on your Android device, there’s a fair chance that the social media giant has been collecting contacts, SMS and call history data until at least last year.

According to a recent article on BullGuard‘s blog:

This discovery was made by a New Zealand-based programmer who downloaded a ZIP file from Facebook and much to his surprise discovered it included complete logs of incoming and outgoing calls, SMS messages and contacts.

Why affect Android?

The problem is, Google’s Android is an ‘open’ platform. This means companies and developers can tweak the operating system to meet their own needs.

Initially, Android API permissions weren’t very strict. So, in older versions of Android, the Facebook app took away contact permission at the time of installation. As a result, it was allowed to access call and message data automatically.

Eventually, Google changed the way Android permissions worked. But third-party developers like Facebook were able to bypass this change. As a result, it continued accessing call and SMS data until Google released a new version of the Android API in October last year.

How to stop Facebook’s data gathering

The easiest way to spoil Facebook’s party is to turn off the continuous uploading setting in the Facebook Messenger app. Just remember though that this change will also delete all your previously uploaded contacts.

Just in case you were wondering why Apple’s users aren’t affected, it’s because Apple’s iOS has never allowed silent access to call data.

If you’re concerned about what data Facebook holds about you, BullGuard offer this advice:

  • Go to the arrow at the top right hand side of your Facebook home page.
  • Click on this and then scroll down and click on Settings
  • This will take you to General Account Settings
  • Beneath your settings information you will see Download a copy of your Facebook data
  • Click on this and it will take you through to a page where you will see a green button and Download Archive
  • Click on this and the data will download though you have to add in your password to a pop-up box before the process starts
MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Were You One Of The 87 Million Facebook Users Caught Up In The Cambridge Analytica Saga?

Facebook data saga

The Big Fight: Facebook Vs Cambridge Analytica

The Facebook / Cambridge Analytica saga has been fascinating.

Mark Zuckerberg’s grilling by the Senate was cringe-worthy stuff. He came away virtually unscathed. Not because he was proven innocent of any dubious goings-on, but because most of the senators had no idea how Facebook works.

It all started with a personality quiz called, “This Is Your Digital Life.” Anyone who took the test had their data harvested by Cambridge Analytica. Worse still, their friends’ data was mined too.

Facebook announced that if you were amongst the unfortunate 87 million people affected, you would be notified via your News Feed.

But what if you haven’t been notified and are still sceptical?

You can check if your Facebook data was shared with Cambridge Analytica by logging into Facebook and visiting their help page.

This is probably a good time to check out the other apps that have access to your Facebook account and disable any that you no longer use.

What does Facebook know about you?

It’s events like this that make you stop and think about what you share on social media.

PCWorld.com offers a guide on how to download your Facebook data.

If you’re not comfortable with what you find, here’s their article on how to delete, disable, or limit your Facebook account.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Facebook’s Lifestage – Would You Be Happy For Your Teen To Use It?

Facebook's Lifestage

 

First off, Facebook’s Lifestage is only currently available in the US, so you can breathe easy for now.

If you’ve not heard about it, Lifestage is Facebook’s latest app targeted at teens aged between 13 and 21 so they can connect with people in their high school or college.

Sounds harmless enough until you dig a bit deeper. Once a minimum of 20 people from a particular school or college start using the app, everyone in that education establishment can easily access everyone else’s profile.

Rather than status updates, users upload videos to show their likes and dislikes etc., but unlike Snapchat, the videos are available for everyone in the school to see for an indefinite time period. The app store disclaimer tells you that:

“Everything you post in Lifestage is always public and viewable by everyone, inside and outside your school. There is no way to limit the audience of your videos. We can’t confirm that people who claim to go to a certain school actually go to that school. All videos you upload to your profile are fully public content.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, there is no requirement when signing up to prove that you’re under 21 or that you attend that school, and once you’ve registered you have access to everyone’s profiles.

Users don’t have friends lists like Facebook, but you can block individual users, but until you do everyone can see your videos.

There is no news yet as to when, or whether, Lifestage will be available in the UK, but if it does it may be worthwhile talking to your teens about the potential dangers before they start using it. Especially due to the lack of privacy settings.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Transcendit

 

 

Watch What You Post on Facebook

The chances are you have a Facebook account and are fairly active on it, posting all sorts of status updates, adding photos and playing games.

Although you think your information is secure because you’ve taken the time to check your privacy settings, what happens in a friend’s account gets hacked, or they forget to log out so someone you don’t know can see your updates? A recent article on netsecurity.about.com highlights 5 things you should think twice about before posting.

1. Birth dates

If you share your birth date on Facebook you’ll get loads of lovely comments from friends on your big day, but you’re also providing potential thieves with important information they can use to steal your identity.

The best option is not to list it at all, but if you’re adamant you want to, miss out the year.

2. Relationship

Are you single? Married? Divorced? Whatever your relationship status keep it to yourself.

Worse case scenario, if you’re newly single you could end up with unwanted attention from people.

3. Location

Using Facebook’s location tagging feature tells people not only where you are, but where you’re not – i.e. at home.

4. Home alone

You never know exactly who is reading your profile (or your children’s), so never tell the world you’re home alone.

5. Picture of your kids

It’s sad that you even have to consider this, but don’t tag, name or give the date of birth of your children on Facebook. You never know who could be looking at them. The same goes for photos with other people’s kids in them. If you want them to see the pictures, send them a link.

Social media is fun and a great way to keep in touch with people, but you still need to exercise caution when using it. Most of it is common sense, so just be careful and think twice.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Why Social Media Matters to Your Business

Do you really have to use social media within your business?comment

Is it a viable way of promoting your brand?

Can it really raise your profile?

Yes, yes and yes – social media really can do that for your business, and that’s just for starters.

You’ve probably heard it all before, but social media provides you with a genuine connection to your customers. Interacting with them has never been easier; you can get their feedback on  your products and services, give them offers, chat with them and provide solutions to people when they need them most.

Not only that, but should someone have a gripe about your service you can act immediately and change a potentially damaging situation into a PR triumph.

Having a Facebook Business Page will help you communicate with your customers and promote word-of-Facebook (the new word-of-mouth) behaviour. After all, the more people talking about you online the better.

Making powerful connections

But social media isn’t just about enhancing relationships with your customers. What about other businesses?

Platforms such as Twitter have made business owners (big and small) more accessible than ever before. It’s a great way to make new connections and to convince other influencers to talk about your brand.

And of course, then there’s the press.

Did you know that 1 in 5 journalists access Twitter daily as part of their story sourcing? Before you know it, one tweet could get you masses of press coverage – that’s pretty powerful stuff.

All in all, social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools your business has.

If you not there already, now’s the time to get started. Come on, join the social revolution.

How To Gain More Facebook Likes and Fans

standingoutEveryone seems to have a Facebook business page these days.

Social media has taken the business world by storm offering new channels through which you can communicate with your customers. Plus the potential SEO benefits are very attractive.

Before getting down to the nitty-gritty you might like to take a peek at this study from SEOMoz which shows the correlation between getting liked on Facebook and improving your rankings.

Did you know…

According to PracticalEcommerce:

  • On average, Fans spend an extra $71.84 they would not otherwise spend on products they describe themselves as Fans of
  • Fans are 28% more likely than non-fans to continue using a specific brand
  • Fans are 41% more likely than non-fans to recommend a product

Attracting fans

So the figures show that having a large number of fans is a good thing. But how do you get them?

Basically there are no quick fixes – you have to attract them by doing things that will benefit them.

Such as:

  • Offer coupons and giveaways – we all love something for nothing
  • Solve problems – show them how to save time or money (or both)
  • Educate – give them a useful ‘how to’ article
  • Research – giving away a useful eBook linked to your business is always a winner
  • Entertain – yes, sometimes people just want to have a laugh

Although social media is there to encourage participation and online communities, you can use it to promote your business. Just don’t go overboard.

The best promotion is by providing something that is of benefit to your fans – something they will value, enjoy and tell their friends about.

Author: MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.