Those who know me know I loathe Facebook. Ignoring for the moment the moronic and slavish behaviors that it enables or drives, it is the internet equivalent of running with scissors.
People will put information about themselves out there that they would not admit to in normal conversation. The problem with this is of course that like all things internet, this information is broadcast in an exponential fashion to a world where truth is negotiated and often in short supply.
There have been numerous examples of people using the information as part of the process of stealing identities. People in their haste to feed the beast make it all too easy….mother’s maiden name…check on Facebook…there’s Uncle Billy JONES!
I cannot understand businesses feeling that they need to be in this world. It’s a lot like my Mum thinking that she needs to go to a rave or spray graffiti. She doesn’t by the way but she would if she put her mind to it.
There are all kinds of negatives around Facebook, everything from being a vehicle for cyber-bullying (and not just kids on kids) to being used for scams and campaigns of disinformation. But, the issue that drives me to distraction is that they sell the information. People wake up! Just before their IPO they hurriedly settle on a privacy complaint.
From a company perspective I have explained the problems and we have deliberately avoided the use of Facebook. We have also asked people to not put up information about the company. This is just good risk management sense. We also check that this is staying that way by “google hacking” ourselves regularly.
Now, just a word of warning…it’s difficult to close your Facebook account down and so take a little time to research the ways to do it, but do it. You have better things to do with your time than make it easy for the bad guys.