My latest technology column for the ABA Journal is out. It’s called “Saving Face: 5 tips to better security on Facebook .”
For a while, I’ve been concerned about the cavalier approach that many people, especially lawyers, have taken to privacy and security on Facebook. As Facebook approaches 400 million users, there’s little question that most of us need to address these concerns. As Facebook and other social media platforms continue to make changes to their privacy approaches and default settings, security and privacy has moved out of the realm of “set and forget” to something that you need to revisit on a regular basis.
I’ve wanted to write something simple and basic about how to understand and deal with these issues – or at least to make a good start – and point people in the right direction.
This column was my opportunity to do that. I’ve been gratified by the requests for reprints and the numerous comments to the article already. I recommend reading the comments because there some good insights and tips in the comments.
I went for a simple five-step approach. Not too many and just enough to make it easy to get started and make a difference,
The five steps:

1. Use a strong password and change it on a regular basis.
2. Review and make appropriate changes to your privacy settings.
3. Be discriminating in your use of Facebook apps.
4. Take control of what others can put on your page.
5. Consider using “friend lists.”

To make myself clear: This is serious stuff and you had better pay attention to what’s going on and what the implications are when you venture into the world of social media. A few basic steps will make a world of difference.
The money quote:

And I cannot stress too much the need to always use good judgment when using social media.

For more detailed advice and instructions, I like Leah Pearlman’s and Carolyn Abram’s Facebook For Dummies® (updated in November 2009) – an inexpensive way to protect yourself against embarrassment at the least and real serious damage at the worst.
Tom Mighell and I also talk about this and related topics in our new podcast, “Social Media Common Sense.”
Check out my new column. Let’s all be more careful out there.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
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