Posts Tagged ‘rockwell’

Facebook privacy? You can run, but you can’t hide

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Online tag

Tag – you're it! That's the game we used to play as kids, but it was conducted offline and had a 'two-way street' where the predator would instantly become the prey at each touch point. That's not the case with online tag – you can run, but you can't hide!

With online tag there are no list owner clearance approvals, just millions of individuals (with user IDs and passwords) who check boxes without ever having read the terms and conditions or a privacy policy. It's not just tagging you need to worry about. Just about anything can get posted, blogged or tweeted nowadays – and RSS feeds only help to power the distribution.

It's no wonder that, "I always feel that somebody's watchin' me, and I have no privacy." – Rockwell (1984)

Facebook privacy settings

Although there are several settings that Facebook users can adjust to manage privacy, they won't protect you from your misspent youth. According to All Facebook, "the best way to prevent embarrassing items from showing up on Facebook is to not make bad judgments in your personal life."

Well, I couldn't agree more – do you have a big eraser I can use to clean up my teen years? In the meantime, here are 10 privacy settings every Facebook user should know:

  1. Use Your Friend Lists
  2. Remove Yourself From Facebook Search Results
  3. Remove Yourself From Google
  4. Avoid the Infamous Photo/Video Tag Mistake
  5. Protect Your Albums
  6. Prevent Stories From Showing Up in Your Friends’ News Feeds
  7. Protect Against Published Application Stories
  8. Make Your Contact Information Private
  9. Avoid Embarrassing Wall Posts
  10. Keep Your Friendships Private

Keep in mind, that although Facebook is currently the most popular social network service it is not the only online social utility. There are hundreds of frequently visited sites on the web that allow your friends and your enemies to share information about you, both visually and textually, but not necessarily in context.

Respect from direct mail service providers

Fortunately, direct mail is less concerning because there are many controls in place to guard against the improper use of mailing lists. Direct marketing services providers work together and share information about unethical mailers to prevent scams on the front-end of the process. There are clearance approvals and list rental agreements that are required, and most lists are seeded to ensure compliance. In addition to these and other controls, the members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) abide by a Privacy Promise and a Code of Ethics.

The DMA has also made it easier for consumers to manage their incoming mail and email preferences by registering for the mail preference service at ''. The site also includes links to the forms needed to stop mail from being sent to deceased individuals or to manage mail sent to a dependent living in your care.

Media channels are good

It's not that direct mail is good and social media is evil. Media channels are not the source of the problem — it's human nature out of control that will lead to chaos. Treat others online the way you would like to be treated and we'll all be better off.