Facebook claims that it has 400 million users. But are they well-protected from prying eyes, scammers, and unwanted marketers?
Not according to Joan Goodchild, senior editor of CSO (Chief Security Officer) Online.
She says your privacy may be at far greater risk of being violated than you know, when you log onto the social-networking site, due to security gaffes or marketing efforts by the company.
On «The Early Show on Saturday Morning,» Goodchild spotlighted five dangers she says Facebook users expose themselves to, probably without being aware of them:
- Your information is being shared with third parties
- Privacy settings revert to a less safe default mode after each redesign
- Facebook ads may contain malware
- Your real friends unknowingly make you vulnerable
- Scammers are creating fake profiles
Below is an edited transcript of the interview. (Sólo puse los puntos más relevantes.)
Is Facebook a secure platform to communicate with your friends?
Here’s the thing: Facebook is one of the most popular sites in the world. Security holes are being found on a regular basis. It is not as inherently secure as people think it is, when they log on every day.
Certainly, there are growing pains. Facebook is considered a young company, and it has been around a few years now. It is continuing to figure this out. They are so young, they are still trying to figure out how they are going to make money.
Do people really have privacy on Facebook?
No. There are all kinds of ways third parties can access information about you. For instance, you may not realize that, when you are playing the popular games on Facebook, such as FarmVille, or take those popular quizzes–every time you do that, you authorize an application to be downloaded to your profile that gives information to third parties about you that you have never signed off on.
Does Facebook share info about users with third parties through things such as Open Graph?
Open Graph is a new concept for Facebook, which unveiled it last month at its F8 conference. It actually is basically a way to share the information in your profile with all kinds of third parties, such as advertisers, so they can have a better idea of your interests and what you are discussing, so Facebook can–as portrayed–«make it a more personal experience.»
The theory behind Open Graph–even if it has not implemented it–is its whole business model, isn’t it?
That is the business model–Facebook is trying to get you to share as much information as possible so it can monetize it by sharing it with advertisers.
Estuve discutiendo hace unos dias como Facebook lentamente se ha convertido en una compañía que busca generar dinero a través de la información que compartimos. Es como si tomaramos un survey gratuito sin darnos cuenta porque está disfrazado de un social-networking site. Y toda esa información que compartimos sirve para conocer cuales son las tendencias del mercado.
Isn’t it in Facebook’s best interest to get you to share as much info as possible?
It absolutely is. Facebook’s mission is to get you to share as much information as it can so it can share it with advertisers. As it looks now, the more info you share, the more money it is going to make with advertisers.
Can your real friends on Facebook also can make you vulnerable?
Absolutely. Your security is only as good as your friend’s security. If someone in your network of friends has a weak password, and his or her profile is hacked, he or she can now send you malware, for example.
–This interview, «Five Hidden Dangers of Facebook,» was originally published on CBSNews.com.
En conclusión, tengan cuidado con la información que comparten.