Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook Vanity

Morning has broken. You are ready to face the world with renewed  vigour –  surely today has to be better than yesterday on the productivity front. You settle down to breakfast, and in between mouthfuls you fire up the Facebook application on your smart phone.

“Let’s see if there’s anything creative on Facebook aside from the usual literary quotations everyone seems to be posting these days,” you say to yourself.

Facebook finally loads up and voilà! you have lost another five friends. Your friend tally has gone down from 999 yesterday to 994. Cupping your face in both hands you let out a sigh. Getting your friend tally up to 2000 is proving a lot more difficult than you ever anticipated and you are beginning to take this knock back quite personal. Vanitas, your “real life friend,” has already reached the Facebook friend limit of 5000 friends. Better still, she recently set up a Facebook fan page to accommodate the army of friends still trickling in.

You feel so dejected.  It doesn’t really matter to you that Vanitas doesn’t even know or communicate with the vast majority of her Facebook friends. As far as she’s concerned, Facebook friends aren’t like “real life friends.” You really don’t need to know them or network with them, you simply collect them like one would collect shoes or handbags. After all, having an army of Facebook friends does wonders for ones online credibility.

Get a grip of yourself buddy! People may “unfriend” you on Facebook for a variety of reasons. They may have decided that the friendship wasn’t worth maintaining or they may have shut down their account altogether.  Believe me, some people will even “unfriend” you simply because of your friendship with someone they aren’t  comfortable with (for instance, their ex partner).  Big deal? Vanity upon vanity equates to compounded vanity.

The advent of Facebook mirrors that of the mobile phone. Before its evolution, we didn’t think we needed it. But now that we have it, we almost cannot live without it. We even sometimes wonder how we ever coped without it in the first place.

Unless you use it to promote your business, Facebook and other social networks shouldn’t be taken too seriously. So what if your Facebook friend tally isn’t rapidly moving north? What’s this got to do with the price of crude oil?

You’re so vain, I bet you think this post is about you…………………

The Thrills of Facebook

I don’t particularly think that Facebook is the best thing since sliced bread, although I do think it has its uses. It certainly is a good platform for reconnecting with long-lost friends, meeting people with whom one shares a common interest and general cyberspace mingling.  As we know, all types are represented on Facebook. There are the political aspirants, social commentators, hawkers, real celebrities, wannabe celebrities, sport pundits, political critics, cyberspace revolutionaries, jokers, hogwash peddlers, music video jockeys, propagandist and downright show-offs.

Although I wouldn’t consider myself a Facebook addict, like most people, I check in with Facebook on a daily basis mainly for the ‘feel-good’ element. Reading the updates of the political critics, cyberspace revolutionaries and hogwash peddlers can be highly amusing sometimes.

For what it is worth, I have recently been initiated into the Facebook ‘poke’ world. Approximately three weeks ago, an unknown friend of a Facebook friend poked me on Facebook. Not knowing what else to do, I simply poked back. The instigator poked back and ever since we have gotten into an intense poke war.

To some people a poke war is harmless fun, flirting or even Facebook sex. But when you really think about it, a poke war really is infantile. It’s a bit like two pre-school kids having a ‘my mummy is bigger than your mummy’ fight. There is no tangible end game, but yet, no one wants to back down first.

Some Facebook buffs claim to been engaged in poke wars that have gone on for years.  But seriously, isn’t that taking things a bit too far? Where is the excitement in a protracted, albeit, virtual war? Real life drawn-out wars like Afghanistan and Libya are bad enough.

Anyway, being in one poke war already, I thought I might start similar virtual wars with President Obama, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump – on Facebook of course.  I soon found out that these media savvy personalities had disabled the relevant poke application. Too bad.

I am sure a real life poke war between President Obama and Donald Trump would have real entertainment value. Colonel Gaddafi versus President Obama would definitely be a classic.

If you fancy instigating a poke war check out the official rules and then get poking.  All work and no play …………….

The thrills of Facebook.

Mitigating My Facebook Risk Exposure

Following two recent hacking attempts on my Facebook account, I have decided to take the necessary steps to protect my personal information and limit my potential risk exposure in the event that my account eventually crumbles under the assault.

Despite Facebook’s “duty of care” to its users,  we ( the users ) are  ultimately responsible for safeguarding  our own personal information. If we delegate this responsibility to Facebook, we do so at our own peril.

Being victim of a Facebook account hack can be a daunting experience. Some users have complained about the irretrievable loss of their entire information and contacts. Others have complained about their Facebook status being updated with explicit sexual prose. A few even mentioned noticing strange new friends on their Facebook friends list.

Contrary to what some people think, you really do not need to be computer savvy to protect your personal information on Facebook. Basically, it is a matter of applying common wisdom and enabling some of Facebook’s in-built controls. Following the two attempts on my Facebook account, I decided to step up my privacy controls to minimise my potential exposure.

My Personal Information: I have always been cautious about my personal information on Facebook.  As a result, my profile has just enough personal information for those who know me to find me on Facebook. I do not offer and share information about my relationship status, details of children, political views, mobile and home phone numbers and employment history. Some Facebook users list themselves as married to “X” ( their partner’s name) and also give names and ages of their children.  Of course, to each his own.  Personally, I am  simply not comfortable sharing this level of information on Facebook.

My Privacy Settings: historically, my personal information    has been visible to “friends of friends.” I have now changed this so that only friends can view this information.  Talking of friends, there are friends and there are Facebook friends. I recently came across a post on the internet where a Facebook user was asking for information to help him hack into a friend’s  Facebook account. Crikey indeed!

Public Search: in July 2010, the profile pages of 100 million Facebook pages was leaked on a torrent site as these users had not made their profiles invisible to search engines. Mine would have been one of the 100 million Facebook pages, although I have now made my profile invisible to search engines.

Pictures: I only have a handful of pictures in my Facebook album – clean pictures, I hasten to add. If you keep compromising pictures on Facebook, you may be in for a rude awakening. My personal concern is with pictures that I am tagged in, posted by others.  As a rule, I always untag pictures I am tagged in. But it is a shame that Facebook does not have a security feature which allows us to stop others  from tagging us in the first place.  Nonetheless, I have now revised my privacy setting so that I alone can view pictures that I am tagged in.

Applications: I currently have 37 third-party applications associated with my account.  The risk associated with using these applications is that my personal information now leaves the confines of the Facebook platform and becomes accessible to application designers and God knows who else on the Internet.

Given the privacy concerns of third-party applications, I am currently reviewing all my applications with the aim of reducing this number considerably.  As an added security measure, I have also edited my privacy settings so that third-party applications used by my friends can no longer access my personal  information.

Who Are My Facebook Friends? As a general rule, I only befriend those I know, albeit, remotely in some cases. For me it is more about quality than quantity.

Sometime in 2008 it was identified that 40% of Facebook profiles were fake. At the time, it was thought that these fake accounts were set up by spammers, various malware and virus writers. I am sure  fake Facebook accounts are also used by:  paedophiles;  unfaithful spouses;  suspecting spouses; gangsters;  pranksters; stalkers; debt collectors; and private investigators etc.  So what am I saying? Beware of cyberspace frenemies !

Something else I have done to limit any Facebook exposure is to install the Firefox browser, which  has  anti-phishing capabilities compared to my previous browser.

If you would like to step up your Facebook security / privacy settings and are not sure how to go about it, “Your All in One Guide to Facebook Security and Privacy” provides clear and detailed steps on how to do it.

Take care while in the Facebook jungle. Minimal information is best and do not interact with strangers.  Let’s hear from you about your Facebook privacy experiences.