First, let me admit it. I have a Facebook page. It’s been wonderful to connect with some old college friends who I lost touch with over the years. I’m not a member of Gen Y so I didn’t grow up with computers and technology. Oddly enough, I’ve come to love technology. (Probably not like most people.) The whole Facebook phenomenon, while interesting, fun and amazing, also has huge implications for business and privacy. It amazes me that some Facebookers haven’t thought this through. Here’s what I’ve found.
The whole Facebook experience was new to me. Apparently, it’s new to a lot of boomers, too. One of a friend’s friends (on Facebook so I don’t know the friend) didn’t know the drill either. You can post a note on someone’s wall. This person posted a note saying, “Why are all these people who I haven’t heard from in years writing to me? I didn’t like them then and I don’t care about them now.” He didn’t realize the note he wrote on the wall was seen by everyone. Whoops!
Then there’s the whole security issue about who can see your information. I quickly learned about Facebook security settings. It amazes me that some people post some very personal information that just anyone can see. If you’re on Facebook, do you know what anyone can see about you? If you don’t, you need to check the security settings you’ve set. When you go to Settings- Privacy- Profile, you can see how much information a friend sees of you. I also had my birthday listed for people to see. That sort of information I think needs to be kept out of the public arena in today’s problem with identify theft. Do I want my personal information like my birthday out there on the web? No. I changed the setting to remove it.
Since you can determine how much information your friends see, now think about who your friends are. When someone wants to “friend” me, I’m careful about accepting the offer. Why? My friends can see most of the information about me. I want to be sure that only people I trust and know can see that information.
If you’re not careful about your settings, everyone can see your postings, friends, profile and pictures. Is that what you want? I certainly don’t and I don’t have anything to hide. It’s just that I don’t want everyone in the world seeing my dad’s 89th birthday party with my family. Those are really only for my “friends.” Then there are the really bad photos that some people have. Think Michael Phelps. That bong shot could have been posted on Facebook. I know of recruiters who regularly search the web for information about job candidates. Had Michael’s picture ended up on Facebook instead of the paper, he still would have ended up in hot water.
Then there are the postings. I’ve heard of post comments like, “I’m in a meeting from hell.” This is a manager who is doing the posting. Does he want the people he works with and for seeing this kind of information? I wouldn’t.