What is Facebook?
Facebook is a free-access social
networking website that is operated and
privately owned Facebook, Inc.
Facebook helps you connect and share
with the people in your life.
founded Facebook with
fellow computer science
major students and his
Moskovitz and Chris
Hughes while he was a
student at Harvard
This has been disputed by
other Harvard Students
What is Social Networking?
Social networking is based on a certain structure that
allows people to both express their individuality and
meet people with similar interests.
This structure includes having profiles, friends, blog posts,
widgets, and usually something unique to that particular
social networking website -- such as the ability to 'poke'
people on Facebook.
You should consider some other important things as well. First, while you can
meet new friends online, you may also come into contact with malicious people
misrepresenting themselves. These are people you don’t want to know.
Internet thieves and sexual predators are only too eager to exploit personal
information found on social networking sites. They are out there and willing to
hurt you unless you take precautions to protect yourself.
How do we keep students safe?
For example, most students aren’t aware that there are
privacy settings available on Facebook.
This includes knowing what Facebook and other social networking sites intend to do
with your profiles. In 2007, Facebook enabled user profiles to become searchable
through its new Public Search Listings. If you have a profile posted on Facebook,
and don’t want your name and profile picture indexed by one of the major search
engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN Search, you need to edit your Facebook
While Facebook has some restrictions on the Public Search Listing of
a profile, many people post their information on Facebook without
realizing it can be made available to virtually anyone with an Internet
How Can I be Safer on Facebook?
Don't give out your password to anyone, not even your significant
other or best friend.
Be sure to customize your privacy settings on the Privacy Page if
you are uncomfortable being found in searches or having your
profile viewed by people from your school, workplace or regional
Remember, unless you're prepared to attach something in your
profile to a resume or scholarship application, don't post it.
What kind of privacy's control are
available on Facebook?
Facebook is based on networks that correspond to high
schools, colleges, workplaces and geographic regions. Each
user's profile can be seen only by those in the same network
or by people in other networks who have been mutually
confirmed as friends.
Every Facebook user has the ability to customize his or her
privacy settings. This allows users to limit who can view their
profile (e.g., everyone in their networks, some people in their
networks, or only their friends) and to choose who can see
specific parts of their profile (e.g., their contact information,
their personal favorites, their work history, etc.).
Those Party Pictures Can Come Back to Haunt You
While one of the fun things about the Internet is sharing photos and messages
with friends, keep in mind that the Internet is also a public resource.
Only post information you are comfortable
with anyone seeing—including your
parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers,
even potential employers. It’s not
uncommon for companies to run an
Internet search of job applicants before
they offer them a position. Stories are
increasing about people being “weeded
out” from a job search due to
compromising or ill-advised photos and
information found on the Web. Even if you
remove photos or information, they can still
exist in archive caches or on another
person’s computer. Once you post
something, it truly is out of your hands.
Always follow these important safety tips when using Facebook:
•Never share your password with anyone
•Adjust your privacy settings to match your level of comfort, and review them
•Be cautious about posting and sharing personal information, especially
information that could be used to identify you or locate you offline, such as
your address or telephone number
•Block and report anyone that sends you unwanted or inappropriate
and also, remember to
•Consider restricting access to your profile. If the site allows it, it’s a good idea to
limit access to your profile. Don’t allow strangers to learn everything they can
about you. It’s just not safe.
•Keep your private information private. Never post your full name, Social Security
number, address, phone number, financial information or schedule. These will
make you vulnerable to identity thieves, scams, burglars, or worse.
•Choose a screen name that is different from your real name. Avoid using any
personal information that would help someone identify or locate you offline.
•Think twice before posting your photo. Photos can be used to identify you offline.
They can also be altered or shared without your knowledge.
•Don’t post information that makes you vulnerable to a physical attack. Revealing
where you plan to meet your friends, your class schedule, or your street address
is almost an open invitation for someone to find you. Remember that a photo in
front of the Co-op tells strangers you are in Austin, and quite likely at the
•Use your common sense. If you are contacted by a stranger online, find out if any
of your established friends know the person, or run an online search on them
(after all, you can use these things to your own benefit too!). If you agree to meet
them, make it in a public place and invite others to join you.
•Trust your instincts. If you feel threatened or uncomfortable during an online
interaction, don’t continue the dialogue. Report any offensive behavior to the
social networking Web site administrators.
•Be suspicious. Don’t take any information you receive from a new online contact
at face value. The Internet makes it easy for people to say or do things they would
never say or do in public or in face-to-face interactions. Protecting yourself is the
smart thing to do.
Teachers and Parents
Parents and teachers need to be aware of what their
students/children are doing on the computer at all times
and keep up with the trends in social networking.
Parents and teachers need to educate themselves
about social networking and Internet safety. This
ensures that what we teach our students in school will
continue to be supported at home.
as well as
For example, Facebook is a wonderful way for students to
meet and network with classmates prior to the start of a new
school or college.
This allows for a quicker adjustment to their new
environment. The research suggests that students do better
in their classes when they are able to get acquainted.
However, students who use Facebook to post inappropriate
pictures could lose out on a job after graduation if their
potential employer happens to come across them when doing
an Internet search of prospective employees.
If your child is under 13 and you believe they have created a
Facebook account, however, the Children's' Online Privacy
Protection Act gives you the right to access personal
information they have provided before Facebook follows its
policy of promptly deleting such data. You may access and
direct the deletion of such data by having them sign into the
account and then deactivating the account, or by making a
request by email to Facebook. Please send requests to
firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line quot;COPPA Data
More information regarding Internet
safety can be found on the following