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Your Facebook Friends are a Spammer’s Best Friend.

I was surprised when I checked my privacy settings on Facebook to see that there is a new feature allowing my friends to share information about me with websites.  This is different than it was a couple weeks ago when I heard about the partner websites thing for the first time.  It looks like Facebook intentionally changed the selection option after all the press.  I’ll be it was intended to slip one by the users who opted out.  This latest updated overwrote my previous settings and made everything public.
Here is a list of the things that Facebook is selling, via my friends, to third party marketers:

I was surprised when I checked my privacy settings on Facebook to see that there is a new feature allowing my friends to share information about me with websites.  This is different than it was a couple weeks ago when I heard about the partner websites thing for the first time.  It looks like Facebook intentionally changed the selection option after all the press.  I’ll be it was intended to slip one by the users who opted out.  This latest updated overwrote my previous settings and made everything public.

  • status updates
  • online presence
  • website
  • family and relationship status
  • relationship details (significant other, looking for, etc)
  • my videos
  • my links
  • my notes
  • my photos
  • photos I’ve been tagged in
  • about me
  • my birthday
  • my religious and political views
What a rich list for a spammer.  Though many of those options are turned on by default, you can deselect them and prevent your friends from helping people spam you.  You cannot, however, stop third party sites from looking into your contact list.  They will see every contact you have, every contact your contacts have, etc.  If your friends don’t have their options set to block spammers… well you can imagine.

My advice to you, never, ever allow any third party sites to connect with your Facebook account and lock down all your information so only your friends can see it.   Here is a link to a tool that will reset all of your Facebook privacy settings back to private.  http://www3.untangle.com/saveface

Be sure to keep your eye on Facebook’s privacy settings because apparently they like to slip in changes periodically that overwrite your settings!