Update 2: Facebook Privacy Rendered Useless

If you check my blog regularly I am humbled by the fact that you would choose to read my words and sad because this post  will be the second to last of any on Another Day On Facebook. Please, oh please, dry those tears for I do not deserve them seeing as this post is definitely a day late. Again, I am humbled by the number of people who love this blog even though I created it a mere month ago.

The reason’s for Another Day On Facebook ending will be listed later in another post but now it is UPDATE TIME!!!!!!!! (If you want to read the inital post where I detail how Facebook privacy settings are being rendered useless visit this link)

Let’s get right into this by bringing the people up to speed who are too lazy to click the link above.

RECAP TIME!!!!!!!!!!

According to sources, now verified for the University of Florida, it is becoming regular practice for the employment sector of corporations/institutions to essentially bypass all Facebook privacy settings through the following means.

The Followings Means: The corporation/institution will call individuals in for an interview and the first thing they will do is hand the potential hirer a laptop and say “Log into your Facebook, and explain your pictures.”  (If you want to see how UF student’s reacted to this practice visit this link. It is hilarious so don’t be lazy -_- ) Recap officially over.


UPDATE TIME!!!!!!!!!!

When I heard this I immediately contacted the University of Florida to ask them why, to whom, and exactly how. Unfortunately, they did not respond to me in time and so the first post, of which this is the update of, went up without word from the University. Fortunately, yesterday I got a hold of somebody and we had an enlightening, almost magical, talk about this practice and I learned oh so much.

The Enlightening, almost Magical, Talk That Made Me Learn Oh So Much: The gentleman I spoke with is a professor at the University of Florida who teaches a class on the revolution of the internet/social media and how it affects our daily lives. At the beginning of the interview he pulled out books on the subject and cited a study about how businesses are using social media  to screen hires. At the end of this research, where businesses such as Coca Cola and Amazon.com responded, it was apparent that major corporations, not just Universities, intended to use social media to the fullest.  Some going as far as friending potential hires on Facebook. (For the  full study visit NACE)

When I asked him for an example of this at the University he, without hesitation, responded by telling me of Excelsior a program that offers tours at UF. Apparently, on the second or third round of interviews this program conducts the aforementioned practice. He told me that the logic behind this was that UF and Excelsior cannot have individuals who are of questionable character because they are representing the school to prospective students. If they say or do something wrong/offensive they could deter the potential freshman from enrolling.

In the end he made it clear that the University of Florida has no remorse for this practice and apparently neither do major corporations. They need to find out who they are actually hiring and if they will be an asset or a liability. For all those out there who feel as if this is a severe breach of privacy, remember that these major corporations also conduct more in-depth and extensive background checks.

Update: Facebook Privacy Settings Rendered Useless

Next Monday I have an interview lined up with the University of Florida, where they will tell me about how they render Facebook privacy settings useless. If you did not read about how they did this then you need to read thispost and return Monday afternoon.

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Another Day On Facebook

Facebook Privacy VS A Lack of Common Sense

I promised all you readers, and I quote, a “comprehensive guide to not only protecting your information on Facebook but also preventive measures that will ensure your information does not get leaked to your friend’s friends”, and as of now that is probably not what you are going to get. Insert your righteous indignation, but before you click backspace, hear me out.

There is an adage among programmers that says there is no way to make a perfect program because it is impossible to make anything idiot proof. I am here on my humble, yet majestic blog to apologize for the bait and switch and then proceed to switch on you. I tried, oh how my tender soul tried, for three whole days to come up with a guide which would ensure that a lack of common sense was continuously over ridden by Facebook’s privacy settings. At the end of these three days, when the arduous task forced me to collapse in sheer exhaustion, I stared into the sky and saw a shining light. It was an angel, sent by God himself, bestowing upon me what I like to call “Common Sense.”  Below is the holy Text.

Friends

  1. Do not add everybody you met over the weekend. Half of these people were inebriated and if they weren’t they probably would not have liked you. They are not really your friends and because of this they will probably tag you in every picture that will cause you to lose your job, scholarship, and morals.
  2. Stop being lazy and create categories for the friends you did add. We all have those people on our friends list that we cannot delete because if we did we know they would know who deleted them. Instead of giving up and allowing them to see all your information set up categories that provide restricted access to your profile. If you do not know how to do this visit Mashable

Applications

  1. Never click allow if you don’t actually like the application. When an application page says “Allowing [Insert Choice Application] access will let it pull your profile information, photos, your friends’ info, and other content that it requires to work.” It means that if you click allow it will be able to pull your profile information, photos, your friend’s info, and other content that it requires to work.

Default Privacy Settings

  1. Change your profile privacy from default. According to the most recent class action lawsuit against Facebook, After the revision to Facebook’s layout, the information that Facebook makes publicly available by default includes user names, photos, friend’s listing, the names of any organizations and products that a user might support, as well as geographic data and other information

If you still need a guide to all the intricacies that are Facebook security settings the links are below.

Application Privacy

10 Facebook Privacy Settings Everybody Should know

Guide to new Facebook Home Page

Facebook Privacy Settings Rendered Useless

The University of Florida has now found a quick and easy way to bypass Facebook’s privacy settings when screening for new hires. In addition to the traditional background and Google searches they have taken it a step forward. Now, they call potential hires in for an interview, hand them a laptop, and ask them to log into their Facebook profile. If the applicant complies, they are then instructed to show the interviewer around; rendering all their privacy settings null and void.

It’s not just UF either. This practice is now becoming regular procedure for many corporations across the United States. Unfortunately, not many college students know this. Fortunately, your friendly neighborhood blog, Another Day On Facebook, took it upon it’s shoulder to inform the inebriated masses that this is occurring.

Last Thursday we went to the University of Florida’s campus to inform and ask students what their bosses would see if this Facebook profile strip search ever happened to them. The video below contains their responses.

Whether or not you feel comfortable with your future boss looking through your Facebook does not take away from the fact that businesses are getting smarter. They now realize that people’s public Facebook profiles are, because of privacy settings, becoming less and less reliable as a judge of an individual’s character. To me this is just a wake up call. We have to be more careful when it comes to putting information online. Censoring, such as changing your profile to private, can only go so far.

Check back Wednesday for a comprehensive guide to not only protecting your information on Facebook but also preventive measures that will ensure your information does not get leaked to your friend’s friends.

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Another Day On Facebook


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Social Media, Narcissism, Antelopes, and the Florida Gators

A wise man, once said that posting a status on Facebook is like putting a bumper sticker on your car.  Yes, hundreds of people will see it. They will chuckle, ignore it, or honk in fury. But no matter what they will most likely make an illegal left hand turn, almost hit a small child, drive a way, and forget about you and your witty bumper slogans. The fact of the matter is that social media, in all its wonderful ability to connect, really is just an outlet for our ego.

Take this blog and post for instance. By its mere existence I am saying that my words and efforts are worth being read by you, the reader, who could probably better spend their time increasing the Facebook agricultural output through Farmville. To go further you could say that I am in fact robbing your friends from the multitude of Farmville updates that notify them that there is an orphaned antelope in your chicken coop and that it is their duty to save it. That is right I am depriving orphaned antelopes a chance at a better life.

Now that I have got your attention and you have reported me to PETA, here comes the whole point of this post. I want you to email me. Not because I want to sell your email address to advertising companies but because I want to hear your stories about social media. What do you love? What do you hate? What are your concerns? Tell me the story about how you wish you could have prevented those New Year photos from surfacing or how you don’t understand why it is acceptable to poke strangers on Facebook but not in real life. Email me at anotherdayonfacebook@Gmail.com and I will respond. You never know, I may even feature your letter on the blog.

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Another Day On Facebook

P.S.

Thursday Friday February 11th I will be on the University of Florida’s campus, interviewing students for a blog post that will be up early next week. So don’t only share this blog, which you should be doing if you chuckled at least once, but stay tuned and check back next week to see UF student’s response to the following question.

“If you walked into an interview and the first thing the interviewer did was hand you a laptop and say open your Facebook. What would he/she see?”

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Disconnecting from Social Media

The Middle

As I realized that I did not need my cell phone or Facebook to connect I became scared. I felt as though removing myself from social media was equal to disconnecting myself from the world around me. I did not know exactly why I was fearful but I realized that I needed to take a closer look at the world that I was apparently “connecting” with. I did not know it yet, but in the end I would not view life any differently; I would just notice things that were missing.

This journey, this closer look, began by me listening to my parents for the first time. I stopped sitting on the couch, eating their food, watching their TV and I went outside. When I was younger I had heard of tales, from the older generation, of how they were the king of the basketball court or how they would sit on the corner and all the honeys who walked by would melt at their ice cold pick up lines. After I pondered how honey, already in a liquid state, could be melted by something as cold as ice, I went in search of these fabled courts and corners.

What I found confused me. There was nobody outside and when I returned back home, I asked an a man, from the older generation, where everybody had disappeared to. He looked me in the eyes, shook his head, and told me that they were gone. He told me how, when he was my age, the streets were filled with kids playing baseball and now they were empty. He told me of a local park, once the center of the neighborhood children’s activities, now forgotten and overtaken with weeds. He told me of how he asked his grandson to go outside and play and the child looked up, bewildered.

What he told me was merely a confirmation of what I had already known but refused to admit. What I had already feared but refused to address. By primarily connecting through cell phones, Facebook, and other social utilities, I am really just disconnecting myself from the world and people around me. I am continuously trading personal and physical interactions for those conducted online and over the phone. By trying to be intimate with strangers and the world, I am losing touch with the people and the city around me.

Facebook and other online social mediums are correct when they market themselves as social utilities that connect but only because they first requires us to disconnect.

To be continued…

A Networking Drought

The Beginning

With my cell phone continuously holstered at my hip I have officially become the 21st century cowboy. No matter what obstacle comes my way, I simply brandish my UT Starcom XV6800 and watch as they disappear. When I was lost, I fretted not for I had GPS. When my arms were taken in an unfortunate shark attack, I relied on a very capable voice command and when I was mugged I merely executed a quick draw, chucked the cell phone into the face of the would-be assailant, and ran for my dear life. (I had accidental insurance and bionic arms)

Unfortunately, my insurance was canceled and I, for a month, experienced a networking drought. This is when I discovered how reliant I was, or at least thought I was, on my cell phone. Ever hour I would call my number from a land line and check my voice mail, even though few people I knew ever left one. I posted Facebook status after status telling my 600 + friends that I was without a phone and if they needed to contact me they should do it through email yet only a handful did.

A week into this drought a realization hit me. Not many people cared that I was without a phone. Those who hadn’t called me before I lost my mobile most likely wouldn’t call afterwards. The friends that didn’t return my Facebook wall posts probably would not go to the extent of texting me and the individuals that I actually knew and liked were the people I interacted with on a day to day basis.

I came to understand that my cell phone and Facebook alike were meant as extensions of my social life and I had been using them as substitutes. The reason nobody responded to my forwarded texts or statuses is because even though they were on my friends list, they didn’t know me. They wouldn’t recognize me if I was sitting right next to them and they wouldn’t say hello if they did.

In truth I wasn’t even experiencing a networking drought. I was experiencing a revelation that I did not need my cell phone and Facebook to connect.

To Be Continued…

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