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How Safe is Your Personal Information on Social Networking Sites?

Posted on: 10/29/10

Have you ever wondered how secure your personal information is on social networking sites? Unfortunately, the data (personal information) that we post on these sites may not be in safe hands. The Wall Street Journal recently revealed how our personal data is being transmitted to third party advertisement companies from reputable social media networks such as MySpace and Facebook. WSJ reported that some of the most popular applications on Facebook were transmitting user IDs to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies.


Wondering what information is being shared and what are the risks? Here’s an example. When a user clicks on ads shown on MySpace, his/her MySpace user IDs gets transmitted to companies such as Google Inc., Quantcast Corp. and Rubicon Project. These companies pledge they do not use any information but if the user IDs fall into the wrong hands, it can be used to find a person's MySpace profile page which may reveal his/her real name, photographs, location, gender, and age.






What You Should Do


Technically, you cannot do anything to restrict any data transmission on social networking websites. In reality, it’s the responsibility of these websites to work on technical grounds and take appropriate steps to safeguard user’s personal information. However, as an end user the best you can do is to make utmost use of the privacy controlsoffered by the social networking websites and make sure you don’t post anything you don’t want the world to see, no matter how secure you think your account is.

If you need help maintaining your online privacy on MySpace, Facebook or any other social networking site, give a call at 1-800-PC-Support (1-800-727-8776).

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