Coeur d'Alene Mom Warns Of Privacy Settings Loophole On Facebook - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Coeur d'Alene Mom Warns Of Privacy Settings Loophole On Facebook

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur D'Alene mom Jessica Renner is speaking out after she said the private profile page she used to socialize on Facebook became a target of a stranger. She said a Las Vegas man messaged her on April 1, claiming pictures of her baby were popping up online on another woman's Facebook page.

The man wrote, "Ashley is using all of your daughter's pictures....calling her Cindy."

At first, Renner thought it was a scam. But then, he wrote, "There seems to be something more sinister here at play. It includes the Feds, kidnapping and much more."

"As private as you think your page is, it's not," Renner said. "It's a scary thing and you don't really realize until it happens to you."

Renner said she tried to stop the communication but the man sent another Facebook message. This time, it included a picture of herself and her baby....a picture Renner thought was protected by Facebook's privacy settings.  She found out, even with a private page, certain information and pictures weren't completely safe from the public eye.

"You can't be safe with what you put online," Renner said. "I put pictures online for my family living in Georgia, in California for them to see my daughter growing up but I just feel like I can't."

Renner called the Coeur D'Alene Police but Sergeant Christie Wood said the man's messages were not enough to be considered a crime so they are not actively investigating this case. Wood told KHQ that the man is no longer contacting Renner.

In the meantime, Renner wanted to make others aware of the often-overlooked loophole in Facebook's privacy settings. Without specific settings, Renner found, your profile could come up in search results, show who your friends are, show your pictures, and more. 

"Yes, it's a neat thing," she continued. "Facebook's a neat thing to keep in contact with people but you need to just know that you can't trust things on there. You can't trust people."

 

HOW TO CONTROL INFORMATION & MAKE YOUR PAGE PRIVATE:

You can find the following information on Facebook's Privacy Page: http://www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php

 

The settings you choose control which people and apps can see your information. You can share your information with friends, friends of friends or everyone, and we offer presets to help you do that. Or, if you prefer, you can customize your settings.

 

*Sharing on Facebook

This section controls who can see all the content you post on a day-to-day basis (such as status updates, photos and videos). It also includes some things you share about yourself (birthday and contact information) and content others share about you (comments on your posts and photos and videos you've been tagged in). Set these now with one click, and your settings will apply to all the day-to-day content you post in the future. "Customize settings" displays a full list so you can control the privacy level for each setting.

 

*Connecting on Facebook:

Your name, profile picture, gender, networks and username are available to everyone because this info is essential to helping you connect with your friends and family.

Name and profile picture help friends recognize you. Gender helps us describe you (for example, "Add her as a friend"). Networks are open to everyone so network members can see who they will be sharing information with before they choose "Friends and Networks" for any privacy settings. Other information in this section, including hometown, activities and experiences, is open to everyone by default to help you connect with friends and get the most out of your Facebook experience.

 

*Apps and Websites:

This section controls what information is shared with websites and apps, including search engines (apps and websites you and your friends use already have access to your name, profile picture, gender, networks, friend list, user ID, username, and any other information you share with everyone). You can view your apps, remove any you don't want to use, or turn off platform completely. Turning off platform means you won't be able to use any platform apps or websites and we won't share your information with them.

 

*Block Lists:

This section lets you block people from interacting with you or seeing your information on Facebook. You can also specify friends you want to ignore app invites from, and see a list of the specific apps that you've blocked from accessing your information and contacting you.

 

*Recommended settings:

We offer a group of recommended settings as a default. You can think of "Everyone," "Friends of Friends" and "Friends Only" as big buckets containing different groups of information. With our recommended settings, your information is distributed across all three buckets. "Everyone" contains status updates and information that people may want to share with a larger audience. "Friends of Friends" includes photos and videos of you, which are often relevant to friends of your friends. "Friends Only" includes all of your contact information and things that are only relevant to people you interact with directly.

 

*Control each time you post::

You can control who sees each and every post. Before you post a status update, link or anything else, click the lock icon to choose who can see it. What you select will override your "Posts by me" setting, which acts as the default.

 

*Control with apps:

Apps can only see information you've already made visible to everyone. To access more, apps have to ask for permission for each piece of information, and it can only be information that's needed for them to work.

 

*Control for what you're tagged in:

You control who can see the photos and videos you're tagged in that appear on your profile. Keep in mind, the owner of a photo can still share that photo with people you're not friends with. If you don't want your tag to appear, remove it from the photo or video itself. This will also prevent it from appearing on your profile.

 

*Additional Information:

We never share your personal information with our advertisers. Facebook's ad targeting is done entirely anonymously. If advertisers select demographic targeting for their ads, Facebook automatically matches those ads to the appropriate audience. Advertisers only receive anonymous data reports. To make ads more relevant for you and your friends, some ads include social engagement features, such as the Like button, and provide social context, such as "Your Friend likes Fun Bun Bakery."

 

*Information available to everyone:

Information you've shared with everyone - as well as your name, profile picture, gender, networks, and username - could be seen by anyone on the internet. Please be aware that it will be visible to anyone viewing your profile, and apps and websites you and your friends use will be able to access it.

 

You can find the following information on Facebook's Privacy Page: http://www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php

This Article Written By KHQ Reporter Chelsea Kopta

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