What Does Facebook Know About You?
Jackie here. When it comes to protecting your privacy online, one of the best places to start is with your social media accounts. It might not seem like you share a lot with these sites, but you’d be surprised how quickly those little snippets of your life add up. Here are a few surprising things Facebook (and the world if you’re not careful with your privacy settings) knows about you.
What’s in a name? It might seem like pretty basic information, but knowing exactly who you are makes everything you do on Facebook so much more valuable. You aren’t just a nameless user to Facebook, but a specific person complete with a name. Identity thieves may use your name to trick friends and others into believing a scam is real.
Facebook knows your birthday since it is something you must share to register for an account. But, if you aren’t careful with your privacy settings, everyone else might know your birthday too. Since birth dates are sometimes used as a piece of important identifying information, it might be a good idea to restrict this information, or at the very least, only share it with friends.
Where You Live
Even if you haven’t personally chosen to reveal your current city of residence to Facebook, they may know where you live based on GPS. Your mobile device may share your location every time you use the Facebook app. Additionally, those check-ins at your favorite restaurant reveal a lot about your location. Be careful with check-ins. Thieves have been known to use Facebook as a tool for determining when you are and are not at home.
What You Look Like
Facebook is surprisingly good at identifying its users through pictures. Their facial recognition program, DeepFace, boasts 97.35% accuracy, close to human level performance. Facebook knows what you look like and can find and identify pictures of you, even if you haven’t tagged yourself. Always double check pictures that are tagged of you on the site to make sure they are pictures you want identified with you. Although you can’t remove other Facebook user’s pictures, you can untag yourself if you don’t want the picture to show on your account.
What You Like
Each time you click “Like” on Facebook, you tell them a little more about what you like and who you are. While this information is highly lucrative to Facebook for advertising purposes, it can also be valuable to thieves if your profile isn’t properly secured. Thieves can see what you like, what companies you do business with, and can potentially use this information to create highly targeted scams that you may fall victim to.
Who Your Friends Are
Facebook is all about friends. After all, what fun would be the site be if it wasn’t for those silly cat pictures your friends are posting? Choose your friends carefully. If you want to welcome everyone into your network, use Facebook’s options for differentiating friendship levels. You can classify people into groups like Acquaintance, Friends, Family, etc. to ensure you’re always sharing with the right audience.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing on Facebook, but make sure you know what you’re sharing and with whom. Take the time today to check your privacy settings and make sure you are protecting your online privacy.