Laurel L. Russwurm's Free Culture Blog

a writer, the copyfight and internet freedom

Facebook PhoneNumbers & Security

with 7 comments

Since I’m finishing my novel and committed to uploading it to CreateSpace Sunday night, I’m *not* supposed to be blogging!

But this is a pretty serious FaceBook privacy breach passed on my by friend Mary, and the sooner people know the sooner they can pull their numbers.

If you’ve ever given Facebook your phone number, it is now published.

ALL PHONE NUMBERS are now on Facebook! No joke …

facebook logo

  • Go top right of your screen –
  • click on ACCOUNT then
  • click Edit Friends.
  • Go to the left of the screen and
  • click the phone book.

Everyone’s phone number has now been published.
Please share this with your friends so they can remove their numbers when changing their personal settings.

Of course, the phone book is only published to *your* Facebook Friends…

AND every app that you’ve allowed to access your friend list now has all of their phone numbers.

This one doesn’t hit me because I never gave Facebook my phone number because I follow:

Internet Privacy Rule #1

Never Give Out Unnecessary Personal Information online.

The ONLY time you need to give out your home address or phone number is if you want someone to call you or mail something or visit.

Just because some website insists on accessing your private information does not obligate you to give it to them. If they insist, you are perfectly within your rights to lie. Give them a phony address (not the address of anyone you know). Change your birthdate, lie about your age. Yesterday I advised one of my my brothers to set up a disposable email address before divulging his real email address to someone he thought may be up to no good. And for years I’ve been telling every one I know — including my child — to lie about everything online. (Even just a postal code narrows your location down right quick.)

Think about it. I don’t have to give my identification to walk into a Canadian Tire Store, so why is it necessary online?

My computer guy advises that the best policy for Facebook is to assume that EVERY bit of information you put there will be written on a billboard for every one to see. Facebook may have privacy settings but no real privacy. Facebook lays claim to everything you put there – it belongs to them. See the movie. And realize that the movie is the sanitized glammed up version.

Online Security is spelled https

FYI: While on Facebook, look at your URL address;
if you see http: instead of https:
then you don’t have a secure session and you can be hacked.

  • Go to Account|Account Settings|Account Security and
  • click Change.
  • Check the first setting (secure browsing)
  • Re-Post for your Friends

FB defaults to the non-secure setting.

Only https offers you a secure internet connection. Which is still not encryption. I’ve been told that the reason https is secure is because it is encrypted.

(If you don’t want Bell using DPI to read your mail or peek in your packets with DPI, you want to go further & use encryption… which I have yet to figure out myself. I’m looking into a thing called Truecrypt.)

[Thanks Mary and Paul!]

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

March 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

7 Responses

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  1. […] Facebook PhoneNumbers & Security Since I’m finishing my novel and committed to uploading it to CreateSpace Sunday night, I’m *not* supposed to be blogging! […]

  2. It was for reasons such as this that I wrote Friendika – to give people who wanted to leave Facebook a safe and secure place to go… and which I think you recently described as “sounds like cut-to-the-chase info harvester worse than linkedin or fb”. Ouch. You couldn’t be more wrong.

    Mike Macgirvin

    March 5, 2011 at 12:16 am

    • Yes, I did say that the very first time I’d heard the name. I also acknowledged I knew nothing about it in the Identi.ca. The comment was my gut reaction to the name, and honestly, it still sounds just as horrible to me reading it for the second time. Makes me think of the I.T. Crowd’s Friend Face. While I appreciate your intention to create a better, safer, open source social network site, the name is bound to be a huge handicap. Seriously.

      I apologize for dissing your project, but since I am busy self publishing my novel, I barely have time to sleep let alone try out yet another social networking site that’s the best I can do. If you would like to write a guest blog post about Friendlika and why you developed it and what you hope it accomplishes, I’d be happy to publish it here or in the StopUBB blog (where most tech stuff goes) but that’s the best I can do at the moment since I’ve no time. (No matter what, I think you need to seriously consider changing the name.)

      If you disagree (or even agree !) with anything I say on Identi.ca or Twitter, jump right in and tell me. One of the coolest things about microblogging is that it is a two way street.

      Laurel L. Russwurm

      March 5, 2011 at 2:15 am

    • No worries… I love your blog by the way.

      It sounds a bit less horrible if you take the ‘l’ out, since there isn’t any ‘l’ in the name. I’ll take this into consideration, though I note that my project’s main “competition” is named after the dispersal of Jews after the Babylonian exile – and they’re raising obscene amounts of money with that name. It isn’t about flashy corporate names and making money – this is a free open source project with no commercial aspirations. just trying to do the right thing.

      friendikadotcom

      March 5, 2011 at 2:55 am

      • Glad you like the blog… I don’t have time for it right now either. Or for getting new glasses.

        See, I actually hadn’t read the name at all… I could’ve sworn there was an “l”

        I don’t know about the other one, (no time for them just now, either) but the “invitation only” cachet seems to have generated a lot of interest. It doesn’t need to be about flashy corporate names and making money – but you want an appealing name, something distinctive that doesn’t have negative connotations.

        Certainly a free open source project with no commercial aspirations would be a much bigger hit with me than one with flash and padlocks.

        Laurel L. Russwurm

        March 5, 2011 at 3:38 am

  3. Thanks for this. With all the user tracking and privacy gaffes I’ve confined Facebook to it’s own dedicated browser.

    Andrew

    March 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm


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