The cost of leaving your Facebook profile unprotected at its default security settings was made much clearer this week, as security consultant Ron Bowes used a simple piece of code to trawl through every unprotected Facebook profile. He then published the personal details of over 100 million Facebook users via a peer-to-peer file-sharing system called BitTorrent.
Bowes did nothing illegal – it was more of a stunt, to reveal how much data we make available. All of the information collected was already available publicly; Bowes simply collected and indexed it.
The release of all this data in one place emphasizes the personal and professional importance of controlling your Facebook security settings. With databases like this, a potential boss could quickly scan your information, contacts and possibly even your wall posts, hobbies and other personal details.
And as everyone knows, there’s plenty to incriminate a potential employee on many Facebook walls.
For the sake of your professional life, as well as to avoid some personal complications, it’s best to lock down your profile as tightly as possible, and then ease up on the settings for people you trust.
Start by setting your profile so that non-registered users – like Ron Bowes’ program – can’t access your details, and move on from there.