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Email: imt.infosec@lse.ac.uk|

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Using Facebook Safely

The growth of social networking sites has grown immensely in the last few years. One of the biggest sites is Facebook, with well over 200 million users worldwide. Many LSE staff, students and alumni have Facebook accounts, publishing all sorts of details of their lives to their friends.

However, it is important to remember to set the privacy controls on your Facebook account to restrict access to your details to only those people who you want to be able to see them.

One thing that many people do when they join LSE is to join the LSE network. What most people don't know is that when you join a new network, Facebook defaults to allowing everyone in that network to get access to your whole profile, as if everyone in that network is your friend.

At the time of writing, there were over 24,000 people in the LSE network, the vast majority of whom you won't know.

Take a look at the advice that Sophos provide |to ensure that your data stays secure and review those setting regularly. Facebook occasionally adds features that may open your information up to people you don't want it revealed to.

Ultimately, you shouldn't publish anything you'd rather wasn't in the public domain, as it is impossible to guarantee who has access to that data.

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Facebook facts and figures

  • 200 million users worldwide

  • 24,000 members of the LSE network

  • Default setting publishes your birthdate to everyone

  • Members of networks you join have, by default, full access to your profile

  • Identity scammers and potential employers use Facebook for information gathering

Sophos Facebook advice

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