Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites on the Internet today. It was launched in February of 2004 and since then has exploded into a socializing phenomenon. Facebook allows its users to create in depth profiles in which they can post post pictures, notes and comments on friends’ walls. It differs widely from similar websites like MySpace, which is fully customizable, but compensates for that with its friendly interface and strong socializing capabilities. Facebook currently has over 500 million active users and is available in almost every country across the world. This popularity makes one wonder whether all the data cycling through Facebook’s servers is secure.
Although Facebook is widely used and loved it has several security flaws which should be noted and heeded. One such important and controversial issue is the issue of privacy. Facebook allows its users to input information like their home address, phone number and email address which can be used by questionable individuals with malicious ulterior motives. Facebook has since updated its privacy settings to allow users to manage who they want to allow to view certain information.
- In May of 2010 Facebook’s security system had a major glitch. It allowed private chat logs, from its recent Chat/Instant Messaging system go live and public. People were able to view private chat conversations and their friends’ pending requests. Facebook deactivated this feature until it was fixed. It is now up and running again.
- Facebook has also been the cause of much controversy as the New York Times reported that closing an account on the popular website is not possible leaving many users in fear that their personal information will indefinitely be accessible on the website’s servers.
While Facebook is secure at face value, there are many issues that have raised the question of whether it really is secure. Users are cautioned to divulge as little information as possible, even posting a nickname instead of their given name. There are many applications and people that pose as safe and secure additions but users should be aware that this is not always the case.
In closing, cliché quotes may be a user’s best friend. It is better to be safe than sorry and never judge a book by its nicely bound cover while using Facebook.