My friend Barbara Rozgonyi recently had her Facebook account taken over by hackers and she’s been frozen out of it for over a week.  (Read her saga here – complete with some good advice .)  We got to talking and I went in and upgraded my security.

Then my parents sent me a scary video about how bad guys (or gals) can find your kids bedroom from the meta data on photos you post on the web.

[youtube N2vARzvWxwY]

My brother asked my opinion and I gave the following advice to him and the rest of my family, since I consider you part of my art family, I’ll share it with you as well.  (Mind you I’m not a security expert so these are my opinions – do with it what you will or do more research on your own.)

Here is my sisterly/friendly safety advice for Facebook:

DON’T use the “places” feature – people don’t need minute by minute descriptions of your whereabouts.  Then they know how long they have to rob you.  I often say I’m somewhere before or after I’m there… just to be safer.  I think that’s a very unsafe feature. (Ditto to FourSquare – I know many of you are using both of these so don’t get upset with me – again, my opinions and I just want everyone to be safe!)

Be sure you have your security settings updated.  Go to:
> Account
> Account Settings
> Account Security
Place a check mark in secure browsing and I would do the “when a new computer logs in” – get an email, text or both.  My friend was hacked and her account is still frozen.  This helps with that.

Check your privacy settings.  Go to:

> Account
> Privacy Settings

See what yours are set at.  I recommend you have Friends only for status, photos & posts.  If you click on “Customize Settings” you can say “Only Me” for lots of things… disable places.

Securing some of the information attached to photos from your iPhone:

On your iPhone, click the “settings” icons (looks like gears)
> General
> Location Services

I don’t want to turn mine all off or I can find the nearest RedBox or use Google maps, so I choose by application.

Turn OFF the Camera, Facebook and any other app that you have that you don’t want posting your location. ( I turned off Hootsuite which is a Twitter app but I think I’m the only Twitter user.)

If you don’t have an iPhone, you can go here to see how to disable some of the settings on your phone as well.

So, be social but be safe!

– Tara Reed