Facebook Privacy: Creepy Website a Reminder to Know Your Settings
What could happen if your Facebook photos, location information and more get into the wrong hands? This website uses a personalized movie trailer to explore that question, and will undoubtedly leave you with goose bumps.
Social Media Matters
By Kristin Burnham, CIO
Everyone knows that there are dangers associated with using and sharing on Facebook, but do you really take them into consideration when posting pictures, location-based information or other personal details? Give this new website a try, and you’ll probably think twice.
Using your personal Facebook photos and actual screen shots from your account, Take This Lollipop generates a worst-case scenario movie trailer to put into perspective what could happen if your Facebook information ends up in the wrong hands.
To generate your own movie trailer, you’ll need to grant the site access to your Facebook page. You can always revoke access later, and it promises never to save your information. Wait a few seconds, then brace yourself for some serious heebie-jeebies.
The movie, a couple minutes long, features a sweaty and deranged man (with fingernails sure to make you gag) seated at a computer in an abandoned building. He gains access to your Facebook account and, using your personal photos and actual screen grabs from your News Feed and Profile, the movie shows him studying your account, occasionally caressing the mouse and computer screen, staring you right in the eye.
Nothing is off-limits, either: If you choose to check out the site, expect to see snapshots of your kids, vacation trips, friends and more. I won’t ruin the ending, but if you’re looking for a good pre-Halloween scare, or have become complacent in your Facebook use and need a dose of reality, this site is a must.
There’s no doubt that “Take This Lollipop” does an excellent job of instilling fear and making your skin crawl, but it also serves as a poignant reminder that while Facebook can appear fun and innocent on the surface, it harbors serious threats. Put all the information you have on your Facebook profile in the wrong hands, and it has the potential to be quite dangerous.
The moral of “Take This Lollipop”: Use caution when you use Facebook. Friend only your friends, be careful of the information you disclose publicly or privately, and always be aware of your settings.
If you have any doubts about what information on your profile is public or private, take advantage of the “View Profile As” feature, which lets you see how other people view your profile. This button is located on the top-right of your screen, next to the “Edit Profile” button. Click it, then enter the name of a friend to see how your profile looks to them. To see what the public sees when they visit your profile, click the “Public” link in the text that appears about your profile name.