It should have been obvious to everyone before Edward Snowden. It should have been obvious to every person who thinks about the way the world works in the slightest, what Facebook does to earn its money: when you use this free website, how do you think they generate revenue? You are the product.
Some believe Facebook is going to more heavily promote their new feature that allows you to download the data the website has collected on users to satiate them and pacify concerns. But will this be all the data Facebook collective? What about the secret info they collect is shared with intelligence agencies.
These are questions that can’t yet be answered, and like many things governments keep from people, we may never learn the truth until it is too late. But what we can do is choose to take some action into our own hands and rethink what we make available on the internet.
So would you like to actively solve this problem we have with all our sensitive data being harvested? Here are some things you should delete from your FB immediately.
1. Delete your friends you don’t know
Why do you accept friend requests from people you don’t know? Unless you run some kind of business that is dependent on an influx of customers from your personal social media page, it’s probably best to stray away from adding random people.
Do you think feel it is healthy to gain satisfaction from so many people liking your posts if that is the reason you have that many Facebook friends?
Oxford psychology professor Robin Dunbar believes that human beings are only capable of maintaining somewhere around 150 healthy relationships. He studied the activity of a little over 3,300 Facebook users, and concluded that only 4.1 Facebook friends out of that many were considered dependable and reliable.
2. Your birthday
Do you know what people can do if they see your birthday publicly displayed on your Facebook profile? I don’t know too much about it, but I know this is one piece of personal information that makes it much easier for a person to become a victim of identify-theft category crimes.
3. Photographs of your children
As a parent, this is one thing I would never condone. I don’t understand how parents could feel comfortable publicly posting photographs of their children online when agencies like CPS look for any excuse possible to steal kids from parents, but nevertheless parents do it.
Also, young kids don’t usually have the ability to consent to being placed online.
4. Your phone number
Have you ever been asked by a shady character on the street if they can use your phone? They might have been trying to steal your information through your phone number.
With the right tools, a person can discover your address through your phone number. If they can access the data linked to your phone number, they can unlock a whole lot of other data about you that nobody needs to know.
5. Where your child attends school
Child predators are truly no joke. In fact, a report by the NSPCC discovered that sexual offenses are actually on the rise.
The report reads:
“Police recorded 36,429 sexual offenses against children in the UK in 2013/2014… in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland police recorded the highest number of sexual offenses against children in the past decade.”
Oh, the report was from the UK? That’s where self defense is becoming increasingly illegal, and putting your foot in a pedophile’s ass would actually cause some people to defend the pedophile.
Perhaps that is because docility is on the rise, and in countries that aren’t America, if you stab a pedophile your peers might create a shrine dedicated to the dead pedophile rather than defending your kids… like the burglar in the UK who got stabbed, and people created a shrine in memorial to the man who was trying to rob an elderly man and his disabled wife.
6. Location services
If you publicly disclose your location on Facebook and expect no consequences, that’s simply foolish.
What more needs to be said? It is naive to think that people aren’t watching.
7. Your manager
Why would anybody add their boss on Facebook? Tell them you don’t have a social media account, unless you work online and are treated as an equal by your boss, which also happens.
8. Where you go on vacation
Insurance policies factor in social media now. According to This is Money, travelers have been robbed of their possessions while on vacation, and due to publicly posting about their plans to vacation, they were risking having their insurance claims denied.
It’s common sense: it’s an invitation for robbery, like putting a sign on your house that is anti-gun or anti-self defense. Predators will prey.
9. Your relationship status
If you become targeted for any reason, whether there is competition in your work place or someone from your past doesn’t like you or whatever it is, why would you give them the info about who you are in a relationship with?
10. Your credit or debit card information
It’s really easy to receive a payment through Facebook now. In fact, if people do nothing but talk about “payment” Facebook will automatically offer the service.
If you receive money, be sure to disconnect your debit card from your Facebook after.
11. Your travel ticket
Have a boarding pass for a flight? Don’t be stupid: don’t post it to social media. We shouldn’t have to explain why: realize there are predators and people who commit robberies out there.
Alas, here is a video that helps you delete all your posts at once if that is what you feel you want to do.