Nearly 1 in 10 users ignore Facebook privacy settings, says report
How safe is your Facebook account? A new Consumer Survey report shows that millions of people have failed to change their privacy settings.
This is troubling news when you consider how people use Facebook. According to the report, 4.8 million people have given up personal information in status posts, including letting people know where they're going to be at a certain date, or liked a Facebook page about health conditions or treatments.
There have already been cases of people being burgled after posting in Facebook that they are not going to be at home. And the report says that 11% of households using Facebook experienced trouble such as hacked accounts, or harassment.
Consumer Reports identifies some common misunderstandings about Facebook. The service collects more data than many realise, it says, and shares it more widely too. A friend using a Facebook app could allow your data to be transferred to a third party without your knowledge, it warns.
The whole concept of 'frictionless sharing' hasn't helped. Now, people using certain Facebook apps can find their reading and viewing habits posted online. It is easy to enable the Netflix app without thinking, for example, only to find that your secret penchant for schmaltzy romantic comedies is broadcast to your entire friends list. Or to read that article about even smaller bikini trends for the summer season, and to unwittingly recommend it to everyone else.
People may not understand or be aware of Facebook privacy settings, but a lot of them are wary, nonetheless. The report revealed that a quarter of people falsify the information on their Facebook accounts to protect themselves.
If you're worried about your Facebook privacy settings, check out the video guide to setting them here.