Ensure that you check your Facebook privacy settings and that they are set to a level that ensures you are being scammed.

For those of you extremely concerned about your Facebook privacy settings in the wake of Facebooks f8 conference and the release of their Open Graph API — which allows developers to store your available data for as long as they want (instead of storing it for 24-hours as directed previously) and the launch of Facebooks “Instant Cross-Site Personalization” feature which customizes your experience on partner websites by accessing your data — then you need to use this new open source tool called Reclaim Privacy. It is a small browser bookmarklet run by a snippet of Javascript which, when you are logged into Facebook, will scan your privacy settings and inform you of the relevant privacy settings for your profile. To get it working, basically:

  1. Drag this link to your web browser bookmarks bar: Scan for Privacy
  2. Log in to facebook.com and then click that bookmark
  3. You will see a series of privacy scans that inspect your privacy settings and warn you about settings that might be unexpectedly public.
  4. Update your settings and then delete the bookmarklet.

When you do this, you will see something like this menu pop-up above your profile which will give you a rating of your relevant privacy settings:


You can then click on each of the relevant links highlighted in blue to get taken to the relevant privacy page to update your privacy settings. Alternatively, you can simply click on the relevant options to Prevent Data Sharing and the bookmarklet will automatically update your settings. I am recommending this bookmarklet because the site clearly states that they

  • never see your Facebook data
  • never share your personal information

And most importantly — the code is open source so you can actually see where the data is being sent (which is absolutely nowhere when I checked the source code). This gave me a reassurance in using it and I would strongly recommend you follow the steps above and then simply delete the bookmarklet from your browser bar.

Of course, if you aren’t concerned about anything — then you don’t need to bother. But to just highlight how ignorant people are — check out OpenBook. This site is devoted to exposing users status updates who have not updated their privacy settings on Facebook using the new Open Graph APIs. If you enter a search term, things can get pretty rough in terms of exposing users who don’t actually realise that their Status Updates and Profile is entirely public and available to everyone.

Either way, ReclaimPrivacy is a great little tool to quickly check all your Facebook Privacy Settings and update them appropriately.