Facebook and instant message privacy concerns

I wanted to write this e-mail because I think people give up their privacy too easily online. However, in a lot of cases there is not much we can do about it.

Ultimately, we can make better choices as users of technology. I will try to make this e-mail short and then if you have follow up questions feel free.

Facebook may be unavoidable for a lot of us. There are distant family members or grandkids that share their their photos and communicate. Sometimes a site like Facebook is the only way to reach them. So if you REALLY need to use Facebook — here are some tips
1. Don’t use your real name. If you are only using the service to get updates from important people in your life and they know your alias — that’s all that matters

2. Don’t post any pictures of yourself. Let you family and friends share their photos , but you don’t have to.

3. birth date. Watch out. I have helped many clients modify or delete their Facebook accounts. By default when you register for Facebook — your birthdate is exposed to the public. However, you can go right into the settings after that and make sure ONLY ME is able to see the birthdate.

In the same breath of talking about Facebook — I should talk about instant messenger clients. Many of you use these apps on your iPhone / Android or tablet. Be careful. These apps are kind of like modern day text messaging. You can send longer messages and messages with pictures — but not all of these applications respect your privacy. When you or your friends use these apps on their device, it uploads your entire address book to the company behind your app. Really!! That doesn’t make me feel good and unfortunately there is not much that can be done about it. Please ask questions as you see fit but for now I will llist good messaging apps here and the not so good
GOOD: Apple Messages / iMessage, Blackberry BBM, Line app, Kakao Talk, Skype
NOT SO HOT: Whats App, Viber, Facebook (when you let them raid your address book)

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