Study: 13 Million Facebook Users Don't Use Privacy Controls
Blacks and Latinos could make up large percent
It’s time to get smart about how we use the web.
According to a new Consumer Reports study, about 13 million Facebook users in the U.S. either ignore, don’t know how to use, or aren't aware of Facebook’s privacy settings.
That means nearly 1 in 10 people are posting sensitive information about their lives that is being shared with those outside their personal network.
The study raised concerns about what people are sharing - often highly personal information - and who they're sharing it with.
When it comes to social media, African-Americans and Latinos are using the web at massive rates compared to their white counterparts. This means, the nearly 13 million more than likely consists of a majority of Blacks and Latinos.
The report cited cases where individuals may “like” a Facebook page about a health condition or treatment, and without privacy settings, insurers could use the information against them. Likewise, when someone posts sensitive information about their personal life it "exposes them to criminals, to governments, to insurance companies and God knows who," said Jeff Fox, technology editor at Consumer Reports.
Facebook said in a statement in response to the Consumer Reports study, "We believe more than 900 million consumers have voluntarily decided to share and connect on Facebook because we provide them options and tools that place them in control of their information and experience."
The study suggests that some people don’t use privacy settings because they feel they don’t need to, while others simply don’t understand how to use the controls.
The Daily News offered these tips for those who are confused on how to use Facebook’s privacy settings:
Manage default privacy: Under the Privacy Settings option on your account, go to Control Your Default Privacy and set the default to Friends. (If you want the information to reach a wider audience, opt for Friends of Friends or Public.) You can also manage these filters as you go. Below the status update window is a blue button with options of who to share the post with.
Make your timeline private: Under Privacy settings go to “Limit the audience for past posts" and choose to limit all posts. This will restrict anything you posted in the past several years to just your friends, catching and blocking public data you didn't realize was out there.
Review tag suggestions: In the Timeline and Tagging section you can opt to review photos that other people are tagging you in and choose whether to approve the tag.
Block snooping apps: Under Account Settings you review and block the information apps see. Clicking on Apps in the list on the left will show a list of all your authorized apps. Here you can either delete apps you don’t want, or click edit to adjust the information that app is getting, and who it's sharing that information with.