Why I Don't Worry About Facebook Privacy and Security

Computers & TechnologySite Security

  • Author Bill Balderaz
  • Published December 11, 2010
  • Word count 352

Today I gave my credit card to a stranger when I bought a sub.

A year ago I sat in an emergency room while a dozen strangers all recited their social security numbers, addresses and medical conditions around me.

I've told my mother's maiden name to a customer service rep at my mobile phone company. There is a cabinet in every office of every company in the country full of bank account numbers. My house sits empty every weekday from 8-3 pm. A thousand merchants have copies of my signature.

So no, I'm not worried about security and privacy on social media.

See, the offline world is full of more security holes than the online world could ever be. Could that waiter copy down my credit card numbers? Or could a patient at the doctor's office memorize my social security number? Could that customer service rep fully take over my identity? You bet they could.

Sure, Facebook accounts get hacked. And Twitter accounts. And LinkedIn accounts. And it's a terrible nightmare and headache when they do, but the fact is, the risk of personal, financial and healthcare information being compromised is much greater in the real world than it will ever be in the virtual one.

Does that mean you should be careless online or downplay the risks? Absolutely not. But saying you won't use Facebook because you're worried about security and privacy doesn't hold water if you have ever paid a bill with a credit card, talked in a public place about your health or gone to work at the same time every day.

For those online breaches that actually do happen, I'd be willing to bet it's not an evil genius computer hacker getting into your account. Once someone has your password, he has full run of your social media accounts. No matter how many security measures Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter have internally, if your password is written on a sticky note by your laptop, and is the name of your cat or the year you were born, all the security experts in the world won't keep your account safe.

Bill Balderaz is the president and founder of Webbed Marketing, an Internet marketing firm with more than 40 clients, including several Fortune 500 companies. Bill lectures widely on social media, viral marketing and other industry topics, and was a featured presenter at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) annual summit.

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