Facebook safety question

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by HandsOff, Mar 24, 2014.

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  1. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Forgive me if this is the wrong forum to post the question. It could be a privacy issue, except I am not worried about the privacy aspect as far as who is watching me and who know where I am and what I'm doing.

    My question is more along the lines of my computer being broken into, malware being installed, unknown code being executed remotely...

    You see, I don't know how Facebook even works. The whole concept seems appalling to me, so I don't know if people actually connect to your computer or simply are posting to an elaborately cross-referenced server that stores copies of whatever people upload to it. I know it sounds stupid, but I am very suspicious about this particular program.

    Finally, however, it seems unacceptable to not have Facebook. There are photographers that insist on communicating with me through Facebook. There is a neighborhood watch that communicates only through Facebook, there are editorials that I can only access through Facebook.

    I need Facebook :( .

    One more thing before hopefully, hearing that I have nothing to worry about and just being silly, cynical, and paranoid.

    A couple few months ago I attempted to join (under pressure). Facebook kept cheerfully informing how much better my experience would be if I included my past schools, where I work, the names of every person I have ever known, and so on.

    I cheerfully submitted the bare minimum of personal information.

    It seemed to accept my information, yet somehow I never got hooked up. I don't really expect help with that part (yet). I just thought it was weird.

    I talked to one of the instigators for my joining Facebook and was cheerfully told, "Oh, yeah, it does that. You just have to try again. Sometimes it takes a few tries." Again, I don't expect an explanation for that.

    My problem is that it did not make me feel confident about a site that seems to have a bad privacy reputation, when it can't even handle the process of signing someone up. Or do they just toss you out a few times if you don't answer all of their nosy questions thinking, maybe they'll give in after a few rejections.

    In conclusion: Is it crazy to give in and join this pushy, nosy, greedy site / new age religion?

    -HandsOff (the last person on earth without Facebook)
     
  2. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    If you have any doubts, don't. They do have a really bad privacy policy. If you do succeed in joining, carefully review the settings, both privacy and timeline. Some of the more important privacy settings are not listed under privacy, they are in the timeline section. I would also recommend an adblocker on the browser you use to access Facebook. I don't know of any malware cases with Facebook as a vector. It is the site itself that has issues, mainly privacy policy.

    I am on facebook but in a very minimal way and that is due to some of the local political activities I'm involved in where I have to get in touch with people through it. If I wasn't doing this, I would just delete my account and just do forums where I can communicate anonymously with those I share some common interest with.

    It is also possible to set up an account with made up information if you just want to read some of the things posted. That's been done a lot.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    You aren't the last person. I run a small business, and there is no way I want to associate myself, with people of little ethics.
     
  4. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    Hi HandsOff,
    I was also quite adamant about joining FB until a teenage buddy contacted me through the email system and suggested to join FB as it would be convenient to communicate and to be aware almost in real time about what your friends (in my case my "real" physical friends met before joining FB) are up to.

    I live in Seoul, and I have good friends in Australia and Europe. You can't imagine the change that FB brought to my life: suddenly people whom I had lost track as far in the past as 40 years ( yes I'm giving away my age group!) were easy to find and connect to... It has been an exhilarating experience ever since.

    I also agree with the criticism addressed to FB in terms of privacy: You'll be able to find out about other people but there is a trade-off with some of your personal information. The trick in my opinion is to post as little info as possible and never venture into the "public domain". I'm involved with photography in my activities, and FB silently deleted two images I had posted in my timeline which were about war theaters... Well I was shocked at first, but then it is FB's prerogative to choose what is acceptable in their network even though my images were really harmless politically speaking.

    I would suggest to join FB giving as little info as possible at first, once you familiarize yourself with FB's own privacy tools, you might feel less anxious about using it. You'll be surprised about the amount of interesting information you will be exposed to by sharing with your friends...
     
  5. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Avoiding FB is the same like avoiding having an email or a mobile phone. You should have those, if you want to live in today's society. And is a bare necessity, if you have a business. FB is a private corporations, that uses personal info to gain more profit, who does not do that? Banks or insurance companies entrusted with your data do it too.
     
  6. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    Mhm..I better delete my email account and throw away my phone then :D
     
  7. chattycathy

    chattycathy Registered Member

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    I have worked on my sister-in-law's computer many times and it would be infested with malware. She would tell me all she does is get on Facebook and play Farmville, which is one of their games. I have found online where others say Farmville infests them with malware. But, I get on Facebook daily and I don't get malware and I also don't play their games. Just thought I would pass this on.
     
  8. guest

    guest Guest

    Well, Facebook has derived way too far from what it was intended to be, being a place for public communication. If you're that worried about malware, then apply SRP/AppLocker, block all inbounds in the FW, use content filtering addons, all those simple stuff.

    From what I've seen though, Twitter seems to be better overall. Do you really have no option to decline? If not, all you need is just a backbone. I've been "recommended" to have a Facebook account so many times, and yet still never be bothered with it.
     
  9. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Well, I guess I'm going to go ahead and join it. I guess the thing to do is just to limit my use to what I need to use it for.

    Graf- I have been sort of blissfully cruising along with out much security software because in the past I did not have to do things I considered risky, and I could depend on Firefox and NoScript and a free A/V behind a router. Now it feels like I am being exposed more because of what the mass of users do not object to. I think I will add a little more security. Application control and inbound blocking and a/v has worked well, but when you have the latest versions of Java, for instance, that you need to run on your computer and it is almost always vulnerable...frustration!

    I like the anonymous idea. I may try that.

    And, I'm sure it isn't all bad. And it could be fun. I like fun. I just don't like being pushed and nagged.

    Do I object to someone making $50 billion by scamming a lot of fools while we don't meet the basic needs of a large percentage of our population. Well, I guess I my be taking paraphrasing a bit to far. If every corporation is trying to act like them, I'm not sure I like it better, though!

    -HandsOff
     
  10. guest

    guest Guest

    Shouldn't NoScript block Flash and Java anyway? We won't need them if we're only use it as a public conversation place. I'll never allow them to run at all if you ask me.

    Though I strongly recommend to remove Java and all of its remnants if you don't need it. It's basically a time-bomb.
     
  11. Enigm

    Enigm Registered Member

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    No you don't - NSA needs you to be on facebook so they can map all your
    Akhmeth the Terrorist connections and put them in the humongous relational database they are building .

    Seriously, you think a drop-out gets to be King of the Internets without being pwned by them ?
     
  12. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    I haven't used Facebook for the past two-and-a-half months, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on much at all. You don't need Facebook to survive on the Internet, you know? I know some of my friends who haven't used Facebook for 3 or more years.
     
  13. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    First of all the NSA is tracking everything we do on the internet whether we have Facebook or not.

    Sadly, I don't use No Script anymore. It just doesn't seem to work for me anymore. The point I was trying to make was that security used to be easy, and consequently I don't know much about the mechanics of how the internet works. I just have basic notions I try to follow, like my programs should not be sending any outbound traffic that I have not specifically requested. Believe it or not, it took me years to allow my Anti-virus to check for updates automatically. I figured I could do it myself.

    But this whole social networking thing is powerful. I am involved in a large community that benefits from sharing information. We have to know quickly when certain things come up. I think what I am going to do is just see if I can make it work with a pseudonym that others will recognize, and only friend the people in our group. I haven't done it yet, but will soon.

    To address the JAVA being installed. And did I mention Silverlight? My computer provides my entertainment. I'm the only one who uses it and I am not home networked. I even use USB for my printers and extra drives.

    I appreciate the encouragement to be conscious of the risks. If I make some really terrible mistake, I will at least relate my experience in the interest of putting the truth out there.

    -HandsOff
     
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