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MySpace and Facebook are privacy nightmares

By Patrick | May 1, 2007

It doesn’t take an expert to realize that MySpace and Facebook, and all the other social networking sites, are privacy nightmares. They are an identity thief’s treasure chest. Better yet, they are a pedophile or stalker’s ultimate tool. I mean, let’s be honest here – who HASN’T looked up some of their old flames or enemies or other past acquaintances on one of these sites? I even Google myself every now and then for crying out loud.

I, the Privacy Guy, could not have a MySpace page. There wouldn’t be anything on it. I guess I could have friends and such, but no one would really no who I am. The problem comes when people that actually know me in real life, would “become my friend.” This could in theory create a link that people could use to establish my real identity. This is why I ask people who know me and want to link to my blog, to never mention my name or say I’m a friend of theirs. This way, an outsider couldn’t begin to track me down using my friends as a lead. It would be relatively easy to do; especially if I have very chatty friends that post a lot of pictures and information about themselves and/or their lives for the world to see.

This is why I don’t post personal pictures or musings in a public forum where they can be indexed and archived and saved for later, UNLESS I’m comfortable with anyone in the entire world (including my mom) seeing that particular picture or reading that text I wrote. Whether you believe it or not, people are watching you and looking at your content if you’re on a social networking site. Just look at all these high school kids that have been suspended or even expelled for some of the content they have posted online.

If anything, use this as a little reminder to be mindful of what you post online and as always, what information you give out in person to people. Privacy can still be had, and Identity Theft does not have to happen to you.

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Topics: Anonymity, Identity Theft | 286 Comments »

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