Facebook is not very safe. That's the opinion of Joan Goodchild, the senior editor of CSO Online - which stands for Chief Security Officer. She told CBS News there are five hidden dangers of Facebook:
- First, they're sharing your information with third parties, like advertisers. Facebook can make money gathering as much info about you as possible, and then use it to attract advertisers. Goodchild says the more personal info you give out, the more money Facebook can take in.
- The second hidden danger of Facebook involves your privacy settings. Every time Facebook redesigns its website, your privacy settings revert to an unsafe default mode - essentially making all your info public. These redesigns happen about twice a year, and Facebook does not always notify you when they make changes. So periodically click on the Privacy Settings button and make sure yours are what you think they are.
- The third hidden danger of Facebook: Beware of clicking on those ads on the side of the page. Some contain malicious software. One of these so-called "malware" ads told Facebook users to download anti-virus software, but it was really a virus. Stay safe and ignore the ads!
- This next hidden danger of Facebook involves your friends - even your real-life friends. They can unknowingly make you vulnerable on Facebook. Let's say their profile was hacked. The scammer can use their account or email address to send you malware. One of the most popular scams is called the "419 scam." With the 419 scam you'll get a message that says, "Help. I was mugged. I'm hurt. Please send money." You think it's a legitimate message from a friend, but it's really a lie to get your cash.
- The fifth hidden danger of Facebook: fake profiles created by scammers. In fact, a recent study found that 40 percent of all Facebook profiles are fake, set up by imposters. If you have hundreds of Facebook friends, do you really know them all? Do you trust every one of them with your personal info or letting them know you're out of town - or even out to eat? Probably not. So take your home address, phone number, last name, birth year and phone number off your profile NOW. Unless you have a burglar alarm and it's activated, don't tell anyone, "Hey, I'm off to the grocery store." By the time you get back, you could have been robbed.