Do you know anything about privacy settings?

Privacy settings allow users to determine who can see their profile, or portions thereof, on social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. They are powerful tools in helping to protect your teen’s information, including blog entries, videos and pictures.
Most social networking sites offer a default privacy setting. Younger users are typically defaulted to private whereas adults are defaulted to public. The default setting helps protect users who may not fully understand the risks of sharing information online with people they don’t know. On some sites, users who are changing their default setting from private to public are presented with safety messaging alerting them to the risks of making their profile public. This messaging helps them to make  an informed decision.

 

In addition to privacy settings, most social networking sites also provide communication settings. Communication settings let users determine who can send them messages or post comments on their site.

Be careful about third party apps!
There are hundreds of third party apps on social networks and smart phones that transmit detailed personal information to the companies that make them. You may enjoy playing with some of the apps, but it is best to maintain privacy control and use them judiciously. Allowing companies to access your Twitter and Facebook account, which is what you do when you download an app, could also result in personal data being shared – not just for advertising, but even to your healthcare company.

Resist accepting ALL friend and follower requests.
When starting out on a social network, it’s tempting to accept every friend or follow request that you receive. On Twitter specifically, if you don’t have your tweets protected, anyone will be able to follow you and see your updates. The basic rule of thumb is to only accept requests from friends and family. This will help avoid strangers having access to your profile information and becoming a victim of social status jacking.

 

Max out your privacy settings
Set your privacy settings to the maximum level on social networks. By doing so, you have more control over who can and cannot post on your wall or follow you, you have more control over whether or not outsiders can access your personal information. But don’t stop with that one privacy setting. This is not set-and-forget! Social networks are regularly changing their offerings and their privacy settings, and they’re not always keeping your privacy front-of-mind. Set reminders to periodically assess your privacy settings on social networks.

Here’s a video from Loving Social Media on how to change your Facebook Privacy Settings:


Resources for Parents:
ConnectSafely.org is a new resource that outlines basic guidelines for teens’ safe blogging and social-networking.
OnGuard Online provides good advice on safe social networking.
For parents, there’s the new Connect Safely Forum. Post your concerns, share your concerns, and ask other parents questions about their experiences with social networking sites — many other parents share your concerns and may have insight for you if you are worried about your child’s online socializing and media uploading.

 

New social media policy lets NYPD cops troll Facebook under fake names!
Initially reported by NY Daily News, NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has issued a memo that essentially allows officers to register fake accounts on social media sites, so long as they do so using a department-issued laptop and wireless card (which can’t be traced back to the department).

Monitoring social media has recently led to successful arrests, including the recent changes against some 49 gang members, who were caught bragging about murders on Facebook. Extreme cases aside, it’s uncomfortable to think that police officer could pose as teens, students or co-workers, friending or following unsuspecting citizens during investigations. Of course, users have to approve who they friend on Facebook and can adjust privacy settings as they wish, but Facebook’s open nature doesn’t exactly encourage complete privacy.

According to NY Daily News, associate legal director for the NY Civil Liberties Union, Christopher Dunn, believes that “police work on the Internet is ripe for abuse.” Given that this is new territory, it is likely that lines will be crossed as limitations are defined.

As for Facebook’s stance, a spokeswoman reportedly told NY Daily News that users are only allowed to register under real names, but can later identify themselves under “pseudonyms.” How that rule will be moderated is a different story, because it looks like this new policy is here to stay.