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The Dangers of Facebook

Here on the blog we have covered a variety of topics related to Facebook, but this recent story out of Charlton, Ma. Made me think that maybe we should talk about Facebook… some more.

Seventeen students at Bay Path Technical Vocational Regional High School recently discovered that some of their Facebook photos and personal information had been used on a porn website. The site is an anonymous bulletin board with links to pornographic content and photos of students from all 50 U.S. states. Along with the teenage girls from Bay Path Regional Vocational there were pictures of students from other schools around the state as well, according to officials.

The photos contained information that could be used to identify the teens, including town and school signs, Charlton Police Chief James Pervier said. The FBI have figured out that while the site is hosted in Ohio its servers are in eastern Europe, which are outside local and federal authority, Charlton Police Lt. Carl Ekman said.

In the stories I found reporting on this incident I couldn’t find anywhere that talked about what kind of privacy settings these girls had on there Facebook profiles. But I thought now would be a good time to remind ourselves (yes, even I need a reminder every now and then) of a few good Facebook habits we should all be taking part in.

  1. Turn on Your Privacy Settings! There is no reason why you should have a public profile, unless you are a public figure in which case create a Facebook page. And while you’re at it, turn on secure browsing.
  2. Control your Photos! Make sure whenever you share a photo on Facebook that you have the “Friends Only” option turned on. If not, then even if your profile is set to private ANYONE can have access to your photos.
  3. Change Your Password Regularly – Make changing your password a periodic habit.
  4. Don’t Accept Any Friends Requests From People You Don’t Know – This applies to teens as much, if not more, than adults. This is the simply opening the door for identity theft and giving a stranger access to your personal information as well as photos.
  5. Post Smart – Think before you post. You don’t need to Broadcast where you are or aren’t at every given moment.  I’m the first to admit that I do use the check-in feature, but I’m rethinking that habit big time, especially after reading this article.

Are you careful about what YOU post on Facebook?

More Facebook safety stories on Life360:


14 Responses to “The Dangers of Facebook”

  1. Ann

    I am always amazed at how many people have most of their Facebook info blocked to "non-friend" but then have their photos set so any old person can look at them. It makes me feel like a stalker sometimes when I follow a link and end up in the middle of some strangers photo album, but at least I know I have no bad intentions.

  2. giveawayhound

    Wow. That is scary. I am very careful about what I post on my personal Facebook account. I hardly post any photos. And I never use the check-in feature.

  3. Cindi

    Technology can be so wonderful and yet, so misused and frightening…
    I, as a mom, appreciate this article and safety tips!
    Thanks, Cindi

  4. Susan Smith

    I don't post anything personal on my FB Page and I make sure my kids don't either.

  5. Alyssa B

    I try not to post personal things on facebook, but it's hard to control what your friends post about you!

  6. Kristen O.

    This brings me to even another point! I know everyone wants to post cute pictures of their children for all of their friends to see, but what happens when those parents are reckless and post pictures along with locations of them and their tiny tots. Toddlers who are unaware of what facebook will do to their lives one day, but little do they know they are already a big part of it. You hate to feel completely skeptical of the world, but like you said anyone can find you when you put information out there. Just google your name and see what comes up. So think twice about posting pictures of you and your children with specific details if you are not careful about your facebook privacy settings. Children have the luxury of being innocent and not swayed by the way of the world, keep their facebook under strict control and let them keep that as long as they can!

  7. Colette

    I have to say, I am not always careful about what I post, but I barely ever go on facebook anyway. I agree that you shouldn't post anything too personal and also don't make you info available to others if they just click on your profile.

  8. Lauren Ayer

    Wow! Thank you for the post! I have never thought of FB as a danger before! Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

  9. jeanne conner

    I am very careful about making sure the security features are in place..


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