Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mark Zuckerberg and his billion dollar company is going public and soon investors around the world will be able to buy shares of one of the most successful internet companies.  If you have a Facebook profile, did you know that your information is being sold along with that IPO?  That’s right, by sharing all that private information, Facebook has sold everything they know about you to third parties, companies, advertisers and other unknown buyers.  You are for sale, and Facebook and other social networking sites want you to share all the information you can!

There are over 750 million users who have helped Mr. Zuckerberg earn more money than most people can dream of.  His secret, using your private information without your knowledge, and then selling that information for the highest price possible, to as many buyers as possible.  And Facebook is not alone (although Google and Facebook rank the worst in violating user’s privacy).  What you share on the internet, and even your searching online is being watched. 

If a person and his company getting super rich thanks to all your sharing of personal information on his website without offering you any reward for your valuable information isn’t enough reason for you to think twice about Facebook, perhaps you should pay attention to all the risks involved in all this sharing.  Law enforcement and UK private investigators say increasing numbers of crimes are being committed by using information found on the internet, and users of social networking sites such as Linkedin, Facebook and countless others are prime hunting grounds for criminals.  All that you share is not private, even if you think it is only seen by your friends.  The information is being sold and shared, and Big Brother is watching you.  Google and Facebook are busy compiling extensive information about you, so you can be sold to companies and advertisers.

Facebook violates your privacy right and that is a crime, according to the U.S. constitution (4rth Amendment). With its new application Timeline, Facebook makes more public information you posted since the first day you joined the network, and that includes thoughts, shares, pictures and comments you did in other friends’ profiles. That is a risk even if you are trying to find a better job or you just changed your political or religious views from those you had 2 or 4 years ago.

Posting employment and education information online, and your date of birth, full name, etc is  a fast way to be a victim of identity theft.  Think your full name and age on the internet is safe to publish?  Think again.  Sites that blatantly publish your private data without your consent such as PeopleFinders, Intelius, MyLife and Spokeo make it easy for criminals and others to find your information, including your siblings, date of birth and address.  Google Maps and other sites even put a picture of your home on the internet, so criminals know how to get there.

Most of the people accessing your information on the internet are probably law abiding citizens,  But, mixed in with them are cyber criminals, rapists, pedophiles, business frauds and con artists, romance scammers and even murderers around the world.  Social networking sites are the choice among criminals to learn about you, stalk you, and gather information to steal your identity, money or even cause you or your family physical harm.  Be safe, think twice when posting on social networking sites and remember, your private information is valuable – guard it.

Best of luck,

A Hathaway
© 2012 A Hathaway

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This copyrighted article was written and published by the editor and site author, A. Hathaway, or other guest private investigator, expert or contributor as noted.