Facebook and Some Thoughts on Privacy
The UUA's "One and One" newsletter came through the other day with One Useful Tool: the UUA page on best practices for Facebook. http://www.uua.org/communications/facebook/index.shtml You can subscribe to the "One and One" newsletter by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the things I find most frustrating about Facebook is not their frequent format changes but the apparent inability of its search engine to find pages or groups that you know are there. My first recommendation is to ask the people I'm searching for to send me a direct link. Beyond that, I've had better success just using Google to search for the name plus the word "Facebook."
One of the things I like most about Facebook is that I can find just about anyone. Having said that, however, I had a conversation last Sunday with two people at church who were steadfast in their refusal to even get involved with the social networking venues. One who had worked in hospital records for years, had a great sensitivity for other people's private information. The other had definite qualms about having their own personal information where anyone could view it. That got me to thinking about the relative "security" of private information. Anytime you maintain an online presence of any kind, it is wise to keep in mind just who might find your information whether you believe it is well "hidden" or not. As an example, I searched for an e-mail address one day and discovered it was listed on an event roster page that was obviously not meant for the general public.
On another occasion, I received a message from someone in California who was puzzled to have received junk mail with their name on it, but in conjunction with an organization I belong to. My e-mail address is "out there" on the organization website, so they contacted me. I finally tracked down the source -- an online exhibitor list from an event seven years past. I believe the original listing was in error to begin with.
Old stuff is out there! Someone else contacted me about "erasing" their name from a professor "rating" website ... in some cases all you can do is contact the listing agency to see if your name can be removed.
Search for your name or e-mail address once in a while and see what you come up with. It could be interesting!