I've never been too worried about the police or other such authorities monitoring my myspace, but I do often wonder what my mother thinks of the things I've posted. Most of my postings are tame, at least in comparison to some of the things I've seen, however, my mother would defiantly disapprove of some things on my site. "The Story of God, Told through Spaghetti" being one of those things.
It's interesting to me how much people actually notice what you put on there. For example, I got props on this very radio show on Friday, and posted a bulliten with links to this blog & the audio clip of the show. All weekend I as I ran into people that I am friends with (real life & the interweb) people asked me about it.
I have a MySpace and I use it as a way to keep in contact with people that I would not normally phone. I have found it is easier and quicker to keep up on the happenings of my friends and just leave a short comment rather than have an hour long phone conversation.
I also protect my image on MySpace. I keep it private and only approve "friend" requests from people I have met in person. I also try to be thoughtful about the photos that I put up and will sometimes remove stuff after further contemplation. I want to be sure that the person on MySpace is the person I am in life.
If anything, MySpace is a fantastic forum to feed our narcissistic urge for attention and acceptance. I believe some people use it as an extention of the cliques in schools. Gathering as many friends as they possibly can, not caring whether they know them or not.
It's interesting to me that nobody has brought up the point that on Facebook and more recently, Myspace offer privacy options... Facebook doesn't allow random users to see a person's profile beyond extremely basic stats unless you are 'friends' with the person... Even then, one has the option to allow a new 'friend' to only see a customized limited profile.
As far as myspace, there has been the option to make your profile 'private' to the general public... Same with photos- as a user on myspace; the option exists to either keep your photos/blogs viewable to only yourself, to just your friends or to anyone.
In response to detectives and officers creating fake profiles to gain information/trust from users... Doesn't this seem more than slightly intrusive and illegal to anyone else?! It seems as though they assume all social networking website users are ignorant, possibly even unintelligent that just add random people to their friends list regardless of who they are.
How can parents police their children through their profiles? Any advise for parents?
I?m not worried about the police or intelligence collection of myspace, facebook or any other social network site; I?m worried about the companys? complete disregard of privacy and the use of these sites as a tool for criminal intelligence gathering.
The information Security field has become very concerned with aggregation threat (compiling useful information from different sources) that social network sites (SNS) present. What is interesting is that employees who were normally almost clinically paranoid about their network had no problem listing it in their SNS profile. For example, they will list the equipment and software they are an expert with at their worksite (just like a resume site). I make it a point to remind people to be careful what they put out there.
Another problem is that these sites allow you add platform applications (services provided by an SNS that enable third-party developers to add site content.) I suspect these platform applications are tested or verified in any way. So what? This means there is little to stop a virus writer from developing a nasty application that gains access to your computer, more importantly to the information on your computer.
As an Information Security Manager for a college, I am also concerned with the threat posed to our students and staff themselves as well. Facebook is notorious about it?s lack of regard for privacy. If you read their usage agreement, you may notice that you give up all rights to everything you post or submit. Look at this snippet of the user agreement:
?By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.?
Even more serious than that is the cyberstalker features the company felt they needed to include. This is a frequent problem in many academic communities. A user needs to be very cautious about what information they post to their account. Myspace has taken some token measures against child predators ONLY because of public and legal pressure. Facebook appears to have gone the opposite direction and opened up the number of things to find out about a potential victim:
This video says it all:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCh9bmg0zGg or use the keyword "facebook stalker"
Look at your profile from a predator?s mindset because it?s safe to say someone else has or would like to.
Comments are now closed.