Facebook Privacy Scanner & How to Quit Facebook?

Facebook has been receiving a lot of flak lately and for good reason. It is a great social networking platform that is being used by millions around the world.

But, with time Facebook’s privacy settings have become downright a nightmare to manage. That is for those who are worried about their privacy and actually go into the ‘Privacy Settings’ options.

Facebook has been transforming from being a totally private network for college students to now a social network where most of your privacy are open to public unless you opt to make it private.

That’s where the problem is. Most people don’t care or don’t know how to make their settings private. Facebook is set to announce a simpler and straight forward way of managing your privacy settings today. I will believe it when I see it.

Facebook Privacy Scanner

i had to write about this as soon I came across it. ReclaimPrivacy.org has put together a nice browser bookmarklet that scans your privacy settings and shows you how much of your Facebook profile is open to the world.

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Go to ReclaimPrivacy.org and drag the bookmarklet to your browser. Now login to Facebook and go to Account –> Privacy Settings page. Click on the bookmarklet and it will run a series of scans and show you what’s secure and what needs your attention. You can try to make changes to your settings and run the scan again.

Is your Phone Number Public via Facebook?

Here is another evidence why Facebook is worse than a sieve when it comes to your personal data. Tom Scott has put together a page to show random phone numbers of people (masked) who haven’t protected this information.

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He has put this information up with good intentions. To educate people using Facebook on why you should check your privacy settings and understand what you choose to share with the world.

How to Quit Facebook?

If all these privacy makes you nervous about using this service, you might chose to quit Facebook altogether like many have. Some luminaries include Jason Calacanis, Leo Laporte, Jason Clarke known in the tech blogging world. Their reason? Facebook’s Graph API is evil.

Lifehacker has put together a guide on how to quit Facebook without actually quitting? It’s a good read nonetheless and good to be aware of it.

Oh and if you are looking for a Facebook alternative now, check out Diaspora. I will talk more about it in an upcoming post.

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