Facebook privacy settings have always been seen as untrustworthy for users. In order to address this issue, Facebook has introduced a lot of changes to their settings so as to give a more molecular control to users. But who actually can cope with all the changes? Are users even aware of what to do and what is the impact of the changes that they are asked to implement?
In fact, by too frequently adding some changes to their privacy settings, Facebook is addressing their users concern. However, by giving more control to the users, things seem to be worse as most of Facebook users are not even aware of the default settings for their account. While Facebook can say that they implemented solutions to strengthen privacy issues, users are more and more lost. While some “advanced” Facebook users are trying to help their peers by indicating what to do to increase their security settings, most users adopt few principles that, at the end of the day, do make sense.
My recommended attitude toward managing Facebook privacy settings
Personally, from the beginning, and independently of what privacy settings Facebook have implemented, I just consider that anything that is published on Facebook falls into the public domain, which means that anybody can see and eventually use it. Most of Facebook users would come out with some tips and tricks to restrict access to my Facebook profile (and they probably are right), but I’m convinced that without going through a major redesign, Facebook won’t convince me that they have addressed all the privacy issues.
Is Facebook addressing privacy concerns?
The way I see things is simple: Facebook has brought ad-hoc changes so as to address users’ complains, or in order to copy other platforms interesting features (see Google Plus granular control of who can see your posts). But the Facebook platform itself wasn’t conceived as a target-oriented publishing platform.
If we take the analogy with Microsoft Windows platform: viruses are king on this platform since the platform wasn’t initially designed with security in mind, and despite all the anti-virus solutions that exist everywhere, the fact remains the same: Windows isn’t a secure-enough platform. The same case applies for Facebook: it was initially conceived to show-off publicly whatever you want to share, as opposed to Google Plus for example, who was conceived from the beginning with granular control in mind.
Don’t get me wrong, however, I know Facebook is working on improving their privacy settings, but can I ask you a question? Raise your hand if you are ever able to catch-up with all of Facebook updates. Almost every week, you can see people, blogs, and mainstream media talking about a new feature, but whoever implement them as soon as they read it? It’s more than common that some “old” information updates only reach Facebook users months later.
What if you’ve been hacked in between?
How do you revert back? The most common solution that is given to users is to change their Facebook password – but how can it help you recovering one of your private photos that have been copied to another Facebook user’s computer? It’s almost useless. That’s why I always say: if you think any information that you want to post on Facebook can’t fall into the public domain field, just don’t publish it. I know, for example, that you can set some settings whereby you can limit it so that only your friends can see it: but how can you be sure about it?
Think again about it: can you actually be sure that it’s actually protected?
As I said earlier, those are my perceptions of how secure Facebook is. I know there are users out there who don’t agree with my point of view. Feel free to raise your voice on the comment system. We will then help educate Facebook users to get more control of their privacy on this popular platform.