Facebook privacy

Privacy Check: See What The Public Sees When They View Your Profile!


“Facebook is a great site to share life’s moments with family and friends, but how much of your personal/private information are you exposing to the world? Find out in one click with this official Facebook link:


This is a link to Facebook’s own feature that shows you what your Timeline looks like to the Public – that is, anyone with a Facebook account. If you don’t like what you see, you better dive into your privacy settings!”

Assignment 2: Write a 500 word reflection piece on your relationship with Facebook on privacy. Read “The Internet privacy paradox revisited, “ by Alyson Leigh Younga & Anabel Quan-Haase Information, Communication & Society, Volume 16, Issue 4, 2013, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2013.777757#.Ujy2HT_3Mao

Reflect on what aspects of your Facebook profile you make public, which you keep private, and why. View your public profile, as instructed above. Did you find any surprises? Do you have any strategies you use to keep certain things private that weren’t mentioned in the Young and Quan-Haase paper above? Is privacy important to you? Why/why not?
If you don’t use Facebook, you can write about another social media such as Tumblr, Snapchat, or Pinterest. If you don’t use any of them, write a reflection essay on your choice not to. Were privacy considerations a factor? What, if anything, do you think you’re missing out on by staying away from social media?
You can write your reflection response as comment here or in the OWL forum. Due Wednesday January 29th by noon.

17 thoughts on “Facebook privacy

  1. Kate Charter says:

    I choose to be quite private on Facebook. I ensure that all of my photos and published information can only be seen by my friends. I never accept friend requests from people I don’t know in person, and often don’t accept friend requests from people I know I will never converse with online. I find my online actions to be very similar to what was found in the study. Specifically at this age when I will soon be entering the job market full time and have current employers I am cautious as to what can be seen. Using the perspective of an onlooker to my Facebook profile I did not find any surprises. I deliberately do not put photos of my friends or myself in my cover photos because there is no privacy setting to make them private. I find myself checking my settings regularly to ensure that Facebook hasn’t changed anything. I monitor what goes on my wall what photos I am tagged in and what I post to others walls. I think it is important to act respectfully to my friends’ online regarding wall posts and photo tagging because I want them to do the same for me.
    It is mentioned in the article that there is much less concern about institutional privacy. I don’t find myself putting too much thought towards this which could potentially be problematic. From reading this article I am definitely more aware of that aspect of online activity. Even with all risks, many of which I am probably not fully aware of, I will continue to be active online. I continue to put certain information out there in order to maintain the relationships I have with my friends and family. Each individual has the choice to not use social media and that is an option if people feel the risks are too high, however, I choose to try and monitory my image online and keep as many things private as possible. I am sometimes shocked by what I see people doing online for example there are cases of students putting pictures of themselves involved in a crime on their Facebook which leads to their arrest. As a society we are very tuned into the Internet and it is so common that I think people sometimes forget that you need to be as cautious as you are in real life.
    I was surprised that only one student was concerned about the institutional privacy. I agree when she says she questions the ethical nature of how Facebook owns what is posted. As much as I think that is wrong and could lead to serious problems for users I know that it won’t cause me to stop using social media. I do believe that it is up to people to be as public or private as they please but they need to take responsibility for what can come from some of the things they post. The article did not surprise me with its findings because I act the same way online as many of the students involved.

  2. Daniel Shipsides says:

    In ‘Privacy Protection Strategies on Facebook: The Internet Privacy Paradox Revisited’ Anabel Quan-Haase and Alyson Younga discuss privacy issues that arise from the use of Facebook. They discuss the ‘privacy paradox’ which is a paradox that captures internet users, who are concerned with privacy regarding personal information posted online, yet are still willing to post a lot of this information online themselves. They also discuss the strategies which students use to protect their personal information of Facebook.
    In light of reading this paper I have checked the privacy settings on my own Facebook profile. I thought my profile settings were such that the public could not see any of my profile, yet I’ve discovered that public users can see my profile pictures, my cover photo and the pages which I’ve liked. I’m slightly uneasy about this, because my profile picture is me looking very merry, dressed as Santa, and clutching a bottle of whiskey. In the future, when I am applying for serious jobs, I will change my settings so that only my friends can see my profile pictures, so employers aren’t put off by silly pictures. At the moment however it does not concern me enough to take the small amount of effort which is required to change my settings.
    I was pleased to see that my wallposts and status’s were private, only accessible by friends. This is because I often air controversial political views, especially regarding drug policy, which I would not want the general public to see, and possibly judge me for, but I am happy for my friends to see these posts and use them to debate/discuss the issues that are raised. I also swear quite a lot on Facebook, which I would not want my parents/potential employers to see, so I am glad this is private. I made my Facebook wall more private when I was 16, because I made a derogatory comment about a policewoman on my wall and she ended up coming round to my house and threatening to fine me for slander. This made me more careful about what I posted, more concerned for privacy on Facebook, and more concerned about whom my Facebook friends actually were.
    Interestingly my best friend from back home, Ryan, is ‘Facebook-famous’. His profile is as open as you can possibly make yourself on Facebook, with anyone being able to access all the content he posts. He has 22,000+ subscribers and a video with over 100,000 ‘likes’. This has gathered him some attention from the media which has not reported him in a particularly good light. He isn’t at all concerned about the privacy of his personal information on Facebook, but his experience has made me more wary about posting publicly accessible content on Facebook. The world is able to access his posts and judge his character, rightly or wrongly, based on what he shares on his profile. I fear that in the future employers may be able to find a lot about him with a simple google search, which may put them off giving him a job. Here is a link to the Daily Mail article about him: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2535089/What-I-doing-Drunk-films-larking-dual-carriageway-gantry-6am-wearing-boxers-socks.html

  3. Brittany Hendriks says:

    Alyson Leigh Young and Anabel Quan-Haasem describe society as having ‘a sharp disconnect between their concerns and their willingness to disclose personal information.’ After reading the article, I realized I fit completely into this category. Although I am aware of the dangers of Facebook, and other sites that reveal personal information, I had never put it into perspective. Prior to the article, my main concern was about jeopardizing future employment, since Facebook has become a “go-to” in the screening and hiring process. I justified my lax privacy settings because I have been careful to not have any pictures or statuses that could be viewed negatively for a job in the future. However, it was when I imagined a person I did not know viewing my photos that I understood to what extent I value my privacy, and that my privacy settings do not reflect this.
    After viewing my public profile I saw that the public could not only see my cover photos, but also my profile pictures, school, and relationship status. However, all written posts from friends or myself were kept private. Navigating around my profile as “someone else” really put the issue of privacy into perspective. I suppose I had just been unaware of these issues when originally creating my account, and I have forgotten to change my settings since. However, after reading the article I have now changed my settings so only minimal information can be seen to people who are not friends with me.
    To me, the definition of privacy is the ability to decide how much of myself I want to reveal or conceal in different situations. In my opinion, privacy is not only a choice, but also a right. Facebook has led society to believe this inviolable right is upheld on their website, by allowing users to chose what gets posted, and who views it. However, recently Facebook has been publicly criticized for the selling of user information to company’s so they can advertise in accordance to your interests on your news feed. In my opinion, this act undermines a users right to privacy, since Facebook does not directly reveal what information is being sold, and to whom. Anyone who believes that their privacy is fully protected by Facebook settings is being fooled.
    Although I value privacy, I have accepted that my participation in social media is a public action. Privacy settings are an important deterrent to many threats from other users; however, they are not a perfect protection tool from Facebook itself. Facebook is a profit-driven company, and therefore does not play a “watch-dog” role over its customers. It is important for users to understand that Facebook has ownership of user information, and therefore privacy on social media is nearly impossible. Social media should be viewed as an antonym for privacy, since privacy involves concealing information, while social media is based entirely on the sharing of information.

  4. Sam Horton says:

    After reading Alyson Leigh Younga & Anabel Quan-Haase’s article “The internet privacy paradox revisited”, I found myself agreeing with the majority of their findings, specifically in relation to how I have implemented strategies to guard my own online privacy. One piece of data I found interesting was the research cited on Danah Boyd (2008). She found that teenagers used privacy settings to prevent parents from unwanted lurking. When I first acquired Facebook, this was clearly a common trend among a majority of teenagers, including myself, but now such issues aren’t as pressing. I cite this, though, as an example to support my conclusion that these privacy settings can actually change over time as the users themselves change. This includes the observation that the user can become more aware of the outreach of their information, and other factors such as new relationships – whether business or personal – that may be adversely impacted by past photos, posts, and tags. For example, when working for a marketing company on a variety of Labatt programs, I was encouraged to remove any photos that linked me with competing beer brands, since my image would now be posted throughout blogs and media outlets promoting Labatt products. That being said, my privacy settings are in place due to a number of factors influencing minor to major changes on my Facebook profile.
    After reading this article, and looking at my posted profile from a stranger’s point of view, I can confidently say that I knew what settings had been imposed, and why those settings had initially been placed there. My public profile reveals a limited selection of photos, primarily my timeline photos. My work experience and education is visible to the public for a number of reasons. First, it defines my social life outside of (SNS’s) and secondly, it reveals no damaging information to outside parties. The basic information on my public site differs from my private site in that I exclude my birth date and relationship status. Publicizing my birth date could place me at considerable risk for identity theft, and publicizing my relationship status could also place my girlfriend at risk. My contact information, such as address (city), website (twitter handle), and personal email are private, as this information could also place me at risk for identity theft. All of my “Likes,” such as music, specific interests, and favorite restaurants are all excluded from my public profile, as this information might be data-mined, and I would be exposed to unwanted advertising. My list of contacts (friends) is excluded from my public profile, as listing these could also increase the chances for identity theft. For example, in the past I have witnessed friend’s accounts being mimicked because they had revealed certain security settings to the public. This can result in confusion, embarrassment, and in some cases, damaging social repercussions, as bogus accounts can add entire contact lists from real accounts. In conclusion, my privacy is extremely important to me and I guard it diligently. I believe it is naive for others to casually allow strangers to access their personal information. This could result in considerable risk for them, particularly in regards to identity theft.

  5. Jitesh Vyas says:

    I think that as people we have many roles in society. We are students, we are children, we may be parents, perhaps employees or employers, and a combination of that produces who we are, ourselves. I was part of many small time niche social networks and chat rooms when I was younger and I always portrayed someone I wanted to be rather than who I really was. A bit of background – I was overprotected as a child; was never really allowed to go to my friend’s houses after school or on weekends, and I was really isolated from the social environment of elementary school. Strangely, my parents were not as overprotective online; they did not pay too much interest in my activity there so I took to the internet for my social interaction. None of the websites really got my full personality, except with Facebook, I felt like trying to be real for once. As I got older and understood the impacts social media could have on one’s life, I started paying close attention to how I interacted with people in my many roles. When I got Facebook, I was a student, I was a son, I was an employee and I was my own person who wanted to start being professional. Based on my past experiences online, I felt this time I would be myself. I signed up with my real name, email address, birthday and told Facebook my interests. I saw that all my real life friends were on this website and I realized then that Facebook was going to be different from the rest of the networks. It was while selecting my interests that I considered my roles as a person. I wanted to be a professional young man, but that had to be achieved through interacting with people at Unionville High School, in my household and at the Ontario Science Centre – these groups were not entirely aligned and would cause too much strain to please them all. For example, I thought it was cool to show my friends that I’m interested in rap music, but then I hesitated to indicate that in case my parents ever added me. I thought my parents would approve of me indicating my interest in Hinduism, but I thought my predominantly atheist coworkers would ostracize me on publicising my religious views. I thought that my coworkers would be pleased to see that I’m interested in science, but then wondered if that would make me uncool to my friends at school. This was a mess and so I chose not to play around with privacy setting because I believed that in order to have peace of mind with social media, I had to just be myself and not hide anything from anyone. That meant being comfortable with being a rap listening Hindu who liked science. Being comfortable with this, I maintained a profile that is transparent across my roles and I feel more at ease with people seeing my profile and knowing what I like, what I post about and how I interact because it’s actually me.

  6. steph b says:

    There is an interesting link: https://www.facebook.com/me?viewas=100000686899395 that if you log into your Facebook account then paste this into the url bar, it will show you what the public sees on your Facebook page. When I did this I got pretty much what I had expected: a blank wall. I only have a Facebook page to appease my friends, and at best I check it once a year to make sure no one has died. Seriously. It shows very little: what year I created my page, how many friends I have, who they are and that I recently changed my profile pic to a pissed off looking grey alien (which about sums up my opinion of Facebook without being too rude). Apparently my privacy locks are fairly good – friends can’t find me even when I do give them the name the page is under.
    Recently, my sis has been after me to get an Instagram account. I’ve dragged my feet on it for two simple reasons: Facebook owns Instagram and anything you publish to Instagram they own. Sorry, but my thoughts and my pics are my property, not Facebook’s. Although I admit to getting one, I have posted nothing and will most likely delete it when she gets home.
    Now, to understand my sever distrust and dislike of Facebook, you do have to be aware of not only the origins but its current business operations and “ethics”. Watch The Social Network or read the Wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Facebook . It will give you a pretty good idea.
    I seriously wonder how people just freely give their information out on a site that has such continuous notoriety. I can only conclude that people either don’t know where or how there information is used, or they don’t care, or they seriously believe their information is private on the site via the so-called “privacy settings”. For those who actually believe their information is safe behind those settings, here’s a thought for you: One of my comp sci teachers said “Security measures are not there to stop hacking, merely delay it.” Now insert “privacy settings” for “security measures” and “hacking” for “public viewing”, think about what’s posted your Facebook page then think again.

  7. Spencer Page says:

    My relationship with Facebook is inconsistent. There are times when I’m engaged and thankful that it exists, and there are times (albeit, much less often) when I abandon it altogether. Admittedly, Facebook is truly an incredible tool when it comes to connecting with, and staying connected to friends and family. By allowing the user to chat and share personal experiences and memories through photos and video posts, it is no wonder that so many users appear hooked for life. Outside of the social nature of the platform, I value Facebook for providing an easy way for me to access news and other relevant information via newsfeeds and group posts, which is extremely valuable and a huge time-saver. But for all of its benefits, Facebook is an outright distraction. Moreover, there is no doubt that there are risks associated with its use, particularly as it relates to privacy.

    Undeniably, I was ignorant concerning accessibility of my personal information to the public. My profile was essentially available to anyone who searched my name. The potential magnitude of this exposure was scary and I immediately took steps to rectify the situation. I changed default settings on my personal information including my email address and phone number, which is completely restricted and access denied to everyone. My profile picture, however, is available for the public to see upon search, because there are many people with the same name and a picture helps to direct people who are looking specifically for me. Everything else on my profile is completely restricted to the public. Friends, however, have access to all of my pictures and my “timeline” where they are free to post, however I prefer to use iChat, texting or personal email because it keeps my conversations private. I am much more aware of privacy now, than ever before. I regularly scrutinize my friends’ list to be sure that they are all people I actually know. Facebook makes it difficult to delete friends, as there is no fast and easy way, which is annoying. It’s a painstaking process to delete friends one-by-one, but it’s important to monitor this on a frequent basis. In addition, even though others can post pictures of me, I have the ability to un-tag myself or delete wall posts or photos I find offensive or that I think others will find offensive. While the best strategy is to delete photo tags altogether, I have also restricted them to “only me” as a viewer. This is part of the reason why Facebook can be very distracting from a time perspective, as I am not in control of what others post about me and therefore I need to invest the time to continually monitor it. A private and protected profile is extremely important to me; especially knowing that anything published online can live forever. Users of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) need to be smart about privacy and the information that is accessible to the public. After all, SNSs are the first place a prospective employer may look for information about me, and I wouldn’t want them to draw an inaccurate conclusion of me based on what they may see.

  8. Eric Pattara says:

    I found the Article, ‘Privacy Protection Strategies on Facebook: The Internet Privacy Paradox Revisited’ Anabel Quan-Haase and Alyson Young, very enlightening, and after I had finished it, decided to use the resource provided by my instructor to confirm whether the information I believed to be keeping private was, in fact, so. Personally, I choose to have relatively strict privacy settings for those whom I am not friends with. As expected, confirmed through the Privacy Checker feature, when an individual that has not personally been confirmed as a friend by myself finds me on Facebook, they will get a very rudimentary view of my profile, only seeing my profile pictures and cover photos, along with some interests that I have provided, such as favourite books, movies, and music. The details that I focus on keeping private are of a more personal nature, ranging from information such as my birthdate to conversations and photographs with friends. The reasoning behind my particular arrangement of privacy settings is due to the accessibility of information in the present world by means of the internet. As stated in the article, one cannot simply expect total privacy when using social media, as willingly posting personal information contradicts that concern immediately. However, many social media networks provide users with the resources to increase security to the best of their ability, so that the information which the choose to provide is protected to a certain degree, which I have chosen to take advantage of using as to protect I have included on Facebook.

    I have several of my own means by which to ensure that the risk of compromising any personal information is minimized. The first relates to the people I have listed as Facebook friends. Personally, I do not feel comfortable adding someone to my friends list whom I have not met, the only exception being friends of friends who have asked to connect with myself when they’ve required assistance with something, though I try my best to ensure that I meet them eventually. Every few months I also make it a point to review my friends list to see for myself who I still keep in touch with and to make sure that there is not anyone I do not recognize in my friends. Additionally, I like to review my photos and take a look at what my profile has been associated with, mainly to have the opportunity to remove any pictures of myself that I could see as inappropriate. I do not usually have anything too bad on my profile, but I like to be careful with borderline photos, due to the fact that Facebook has recently become one of the many tools that employers will use to check on a potential hire. In this respect, I like to ensure that anything that is associated with myself is appropriate, as it will reflect on my character and can impact my life professionally, as well as personally.

  9. Lily K says:

    Personally, I find privacy to be very important, especially in today’s society where privacy is on the decline; allowing users to expose numerous details about their lives by sharing their thoughts on Twitter, posting their photographs on Instagram, updating their career on LinkedIn, and so forth. For the most part, I try to keep my Facebook page rather private. Viewing my public profile using the link provided, I was pleased to see that my privacy settings had not changed and that certain things on my profile had remained private. As noted in the Young and Quan-Haase paper, I do not accept any friend requests that I do not recognize, nor do I allow general Facebook users to view my tagged photos, profile pictures or wall posts. Although I keep this information private from the general public, my friends have access to this information.

    When I was younger, I found that I was more paranoid in terms of creating a limited profile for certain groups of people such as my family members. However, I find that my fears and paranoia disappeared as I grew older…this was not due to the heightened privacy settings on Facebook, but rather, it was a result of my overall awareness towards SNSs such as Facebook and it’s lack of privacy in general. On multiple occasions, I had heard that companies would view an applicant’s Facebook page before they were considered for a job. After hearing about these rumors, I came to the conclusion that I would be more cautious regarding the content I posted on Facebook. Therefore, my own privacy strategy is to ensure that I am comfortable with all the content on my Facebook page; just in case future employers magically have access to my Facebook profile regardless of my privacy settings. For example, I will only post links on my wall that I believe are interesting or appropriate for the general public to view, and I only post photographs that are Facebook appropriate. This way, I would have nothing to hide from a potential future employer who viewed my photographs or wall posts.

    Currently, I have not applied for any jobs that would require me to tighten up my Facebook privacy settings. However, if I were seriously concerned about future employers searching throughout my Facebook page, I would utilize one of two-privacy strategies. Firstly, I would simply deactivate my Facebook account during the given recruitment period. That way, I could ensure that no one would be able to access my information. This strategy was not suggested as a privacy setting, however I believe that it could very well be an option for those who are greatly concerned about their privacy settings. If deactivating my account were out of the question, I would then resort to semi-concealing my identity as briefly mentioned in the Young and Quan-Haase paper. However, unlike semi-concealing one’s profile image, I have personally witnessed numerous Facebook friends utilize this strategy with their user name. For example, instead of using their first name, Jennifer Aniston, they may substitute their last name for their middle name, Jennifer Joanna. They may also rearrange the letters of their last name so that searching them becomes rather difficult, for example Jennifer Notsina. In this privacy strategy, Facebook users would not necessarily provide false information; rather they would make their profile increasingly more challenging to search by semi-concealing their user name identity.

  10. Privacy is an ongoing topic in today’s society with the Internet at the forefront of this discussion. Most people are uninformed by what happens with all that information we gladly give out while joining a social networking site such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Most of my fellow students and friends show an apprehension with what other individuals are able to observe on their Facebook timelines. However they take little action into changing this and most of them do not even consider what happens with the personal information they willingly give out to Facebook.

    The majority of my friends along with myself are predominantly concerned with what photos can be seen by others and which photos we choose to keep tagged in. This tends to be the major reason why one alters their Facebook privacy settings, so only ones’ friends and selected family members are able to see their photos. Personally I like to think I have strict privacy settings on my Facebook timeline allowing only my friends to view my tagged photos, wall posts, and comments. I have chosen to go a step further and not permit my aunts and uncles access to view these tagged photos, as I’m sure they do not want to see pictures of my weekends spent partying. Though I admit I have photos out partying with my friends there will not be one photo on my timeline that I am out of control drunk. Consequently I have also added additional privacy settings to those who are not my friends on Facebook. If you are not my friend on Facebook you are unable to open and view in large, my profile pictures or cover photo along with any wall posts. Although this is what I thought I had my settings set to, until I used the link proved in the assignment and realized the public could access all my profile pictures. This wasn’t a big problem but I did end up fixing it.

    I think youth society is generally nervous with what photos other people can see of them because it has been drilled into our minds that “wait till your future employer sees this.” I know from experience when I was under the legal drinking age I never let a photo of myself be taken while I had a drink in my hand, just because I did not want my summer employers to see me drinking underage or let alone drinking at all. Individuals put on personas through these social networking sites and as for myself I want to appear as professional as I can so if one day, one of my future employers actually does look at my Facebook, they won’t reject because of a bad drunk photo.

    Social Networking sites are a place where people share themselves to the world and connect with their friends and family’s. Through Facebook specifically people post personal photos and comments that are sometimes questionable and controversial, nevertheless they are under the impression it is acceptable because of one’s privacy settings. Not many individuals take into consideration that everything you post on Facebook is now the property of Facebook and can be used to haunt you in the future. I think it would be beneficial for the youth society to be taught about, what happens with the content after we post it on Facebook and how it is being used, I know I sure would like to know more about this topic myself.

  11. Aaron Rush says:

    This week as I read the “Privacy Protection Strategies on Facebook: The Internet Privacy Paradox Revisited” by Anabel Quan-Haase and Alyson Younga I learned about privacy issues that related to the use of Facebook. After reading this article I started to think about if my Facebook was indeed as private as I thought it was. This year in fact, this came to my mind, so I decided to make my Facebook much more private, or so I thought.

    After treading this article I went to the link to how my Facebook profile looks to the public, I was shocked at all the information I found there. What I realized, is that I only change how my Facebook looks for people who don’t have Facebook all together, but not for people who have Facebook. This is an issue which Facebook had gotten in trouble for in the past, there confusing privacy settings, while I thought I made my Facebook completely private, this was clearly not the case. At my high school they had a privacy expert come in to our class and teach us about social media privacy. He showed his point by going to someone’s public profile, taking a photo off of it of them smoking an illegal drug, and then saving it on his computer. He then explained that any photos you post online will be there forever. Since that point, I have always been concerned with Facebook privacy.

    As I went through how my Facebook looks to the public, I was quickly able to see who my close friends were, who I am dating, and my political views. I personally, think privacy is something that is overlooked in today’s society, especially when it comes to the power the businesses have over your information. While people get very upset over the governments spying on their citizens, there is not nearly as much attention on what businesses are doing with our information. There is an interesting point talked about in the article about the ethics of what Facebook owns when people post things on it. Morally, it is hard for them to just take full control over what users posts but it will be interesting to see what happens as this issue keeps progressing from a legal standpoint.

    I do try to be actively as private as I can on Facebook. I hardly post photos, but when I do post photos, I make sure that the photos are something I would be fine with an employer seeing. When I post publicly, I try to make my posts as professional as possible, again, just in case an employer sees my Facebook one day. I also make sure not to accept friend requests from anyone that I might not know, even if I have mutual friends with them. In future I think that I still have much work that I need to do, from now on I will look more into my Facebook privacy to try and make it even more private.

  12. Jonathan I says:

    Privacy settings are an important consideration to me when using Facebook. I use Facebook as a means of connecting with close friends, colleagues and family; thus my privacy settings revolve primarily around this principle. As I read “The Internet privacy paradox revisited,” by Young and Quan-Haase, I could strongly relate to the social privacy concerns mentioned and the popular strategies employed by the survey sample.

    Upon viewing my Facebook profile from the eyes of the public, I saw what I had expected: a profile that only shows enough information for an acquaintance to recognize me and for strangers to know the some of my interests. On my profile, I set nearly everything to be private except for my profile picture, pages I like, and social groups that I have joined. The rationale behind this decision is to only allow strangers to see parts of my profile that I would be comfortable sharing with them in a real life interaction. For example, I would be comfortable discussing common interests and showing my face to a stranger; however, I would hesitate to share more sensitive pictures, contact information and certain status updates. Along with controlling the visibility of my profile to the public, another strategy I use is to control who I accept to my friends list. Using similar criteria to how I set public visibility, I only add those with whom I would be comfortable interacting about the contents of my timeline in real life. Within my friends list, I also have customized groups for family members, my closest friends, and past colleagues. This allows me to further filter my profile, such that I can direct certain postings only to groups that I judge to be appropriate. One privacy strategy I have used that was not mentioned in the paper was to use an alias in lieu of my real name when I was applying for jobs. This gave me additional assurance that my profile would not be accessible to recruiters and that my social networking presence would not hurt my chances at finding employment.

    Social privacy has been my primary concern when using Facebook, as opposed to institutional privacy. This could be in part due to the fact that the use of my online data by Facebook is more subtle and does not pervade my hour-to-hour life in the same way that social interactions do. Also, as mentioned in the paper, institutional use of data seems to be an inevitable norm nowadays, so I consider it to be acceptable, as long as my information is not being distributed to third parties who could pose a serious threat to my security.
    All in all, I see Facebook as a useful resource and enhancement to my social relationships, but also recognize the privacy concerns that arise from its use. These concerns make the privacy settings an essential feature for Facebook, giving users the comfort in knowing that they can socialize online without unwanted visitors watching over their actions.

  13. Kim says:

    After reading “The Internet Privacy Paradox Revisited”, by Alyson Leigh Younga & Anabel Quan-Hasse, I found myself completely agreeing with the majority of their conclusions. Particularly, their findings on how undergraduate students handle Facebook, or social media in general. Personally, I would say I am lucky to have cleaned up my profile. In fact, a family friend of mine who works at the Human Resources department at a Fortune 500 company informed me about this trend a couple of year ago. I was stunned when I found out. I quickly went on Facebook, pretended to be a stranger, and checked my account. I was surprised by the amount of pictures and videos that is accessible to an anonymous person. I quickly went and changed my privacy setting, locking up personal conversations with only friends, untagging and removing pictures, etc. Now I choose to have relatively strict privacy setting for those who I am not friends with.
    In light of reading this paper, I went on my personal friends’ page to see how they deal with this topic, doing a small survey on my own. Since it is recruiting season now, a lot of them have polished their profile, and just to be safe, they changed their names! Some of them have changed their last name into a character from a TV show(i.e. Heisenberg), or flip-flopped their first and last names(i.e. Bob Smith to Smith Bob). This is another smart way of trying to limit access to strangers onto your social profile as they can.
    My time spent on Facebook now is dramatically less than before. I mainly use it as a way to see what is going on with friends through news feed, and a messenger to talk with friends. The days when you upload every video of people being funny and embarrassing are gone, not only from me, but also from my friends. Undeniably, there are still people that are ignorant towards accessibility to their personal information. And the potential exposure is scary. This can probably explain the rise of identity theft. Publishing information such as what is your dog’s name is not only stupid and meaningless, but also might answer a security question from your bank account. I believe people shouldn’t be this naïve about the potential risks that can rise from giving out personal information such as identity theft.
    After think more about this issue, I found myself to be on the side of individual choice. It should still be determined by that person whether he/she wants to upload as much personal information as he/she wants. Your social profile is also a representation of you. Whenever you make a new friend nowadays, the first you do after talking to them is probably adding them on Facebook. When you see that person’s profile, you will create an image of that individual, without completely knowing that individual. So if you want a clean, good image of yourself, it should be your responsibility to maintain your social profile.

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