Saturday, January 5, 2013

What Passes for Journalism These Days

Now that you've read the topic, you can breathe a sign of relief, because there many others who are far more qualified and well written on this topic.  I won't bore you with a long winded or rambling opinion.

I make it my point to read opinions and news reports on all sides of an issue and come to my own conclusion as to the nature of the truth   However, in today's Union Leader, John DiStaso write an article that criticized a remark made by Rep. Cynthia Chase. I couldn't simply let it pass, because the way he did it was to me, an example of how to lose credibility in a single sentence.

Click here to read it for yourself and see if you picked up on the hypocrisy that passed as journalism. I did post a written response to the Union Leader website, but then I remembered that humor can make a point and a picture is worth a thousand words.  So I created this little opinion piece of my own.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How to Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

Well Facebook had made another change!  This time they "simplified" their privacy settings and in doing so, caused confusion and a new round of ill informed posts.  One that is going viral right now talks about having your friends do things to make sure the world doesn't see what you wrote.  While it isn't entirely false, following the guidelines will NOT ensure your privacy, but limit what YOU can see, thus providing a false sense of privacy.

The article about this is here, but they don't provide the details you need to keep yourself private. I'll go through the settings in a bit of detail, but here's the privacy picture in a nutshell. 

I can't begin to tell you how many people have lost friends, been arrested, lost jobs, college scholarships, or their jobs because the THOUGHT their post was private.


Now let's take a look at what you need to do to theoretically limit your activities to your friends.  I say theoretically, because it is never as simple as it seems and there are way that your posts could be seen, especially if you are tagged on a photo and then comment, but I digress...

Now you can check and change your settings!

Below, you can see four of the five setting you should change based on you desired level of privacy.  I'll address number 2 in more detail in below.

 So far, the simplified settings are simple, but here's where it can get confusing. Clicking on "Review all your posts and things will you're tagged in" will show all your activities and, to some extent, who can see them.

When you click on it, you will be able to scroll through all your activities.  I've chosen three below to help you understand what this means and what you have to do to protect your privacy. By no means, is this a comprehensive explanation!

1) First, you see I commented on Jimmy's post.  There is no icon, before the pencil icon.  Because there is no icon there, I know that the people who see it are determined by Jimmy's privacy settings.  If he makes public posts, the world can see it.  

2) The pencil icon indicates that your settings allow this to show up on your wall.  If you don't want it on your wall, you can go to your wall and Hide it.  However, it will still be on Jimmy's page where you placed the comment.

3) The globe shows that the world can see that I "liked" Sandy's status post.  Sandy is a friend of mine who is technically sharp, has chosen to make her posts public, but lives my my motto, "Never post anything online you don't want to read in the NY Times tomorrow morning."

4) The silhouette indicates that only my friends can see this post, because I have chosen to be more private than Sandy.

So there you have it in a nutshell.  As I said, this is by no means all there is to know about privacy settings on Facebook.  Even if you NEVER post, your privacy isn't secure.  You can be tagged on photos and friends who are careless about their privacy may share things about you that you wouldn't want shared.  Not even quitting Facebook can prevent that sort of thing.

The best thing you can do is to follow the idea of not posting anything you don't want to be public and to help educate your friends.

Be safe!