Information you don’t want shared can be shared with the rest of the world: be careful.
Facebook plans to allow Google and Yahoo to display profile listings within a matter of weeks. Users of Facebook may have their profile pictures and names available to the public, unless they change the privacy settings on their profiles.
Also, Facebook equips the use of RSS feeds, and those feeds, when generated, are available to the public. If someone subscribes to a feed of status updates, it’s visible for anyone to see.
The same is true for notes and posted items. Changing privacy settings for these may prohibit Facebook users who aren’t a friend from seeing them, but if anyone subscribes to them using RSS feeds, they are readily available to the public. All anyone needs in order to view your feeds is the URL to the RSS feed and access to one of your friend’s computers that’s subscribed to your RSS feed.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to Facebook users that Facebook’s premise is to create “an environment where people could share whatever information they wanted but also have control over whom they shared that information with.”
Evidently Zuckerberg forgot what his purpose in creating Facebook was about.
Facebook belongs to the public, which means students should use caution when sharing personal information, phone numbers and street addresses on profiles.
“I think that’s wise to help them understand that they’re not anonymous and . they do need to have some concern about the way they present themselves,” said Dr. Wayne Barnard, university dean of spiritual formation.
Students should not consider Facebook private. The university wants students to know that graduate schools and potential employers partially base their decisions on appropriateness of Facebook profiles.
“Employers are regularly checking to make sure that the people that they hire do not have skeletons in their closet,” said George Saltsman, director of Educational Technology in the Adams Center for Teaching Excellence.
As long as students use common sense and exercise discretion with what goes on Facebook profiles, privacy won’t become an issue to worry about online.