Facebook, privacy and apps that keep your messages secure

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When you post something to Facebook, you might be sharing more than your realize.

According to Monica Lam, a Stanford  computer science professor and online privacy expert, there are a few ways that people are giving away their privacy on Facebook.

GIVING UP RIGHTS TO PERSONAL CONTENT – Facebook actually “owns” any family photos, messages, and unique ideas that you create and post on the site or via its app.

EMPOWERING MARKETERS BY “LIKING” THINGS – With its “likes” functionality, Facebook allows marketers to target you based on the people and things you associate with yourself. Every time you like something, you are giving a bit of privacy away.

SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT FRIENDS – By using Facebook to login to other websites, you’re unknowingly sharing much of your friends’ private and valuable data with third parties (and your friends could be sharing your data, too).

TAKING QUIZZES THAT Teen’s Facebook post costs family $80,000STORE PERSONAL PREFERENCES – Any time you take a Facebook quiz, you’re potentially making public a little bit more about yourself and your personal tendencies.

At this year’s SXSW festival, Lam and her startup MobiSocial launched the Omlet chat app. With Omlet, you retain total control of your data and can choose to store it wherever you like. Omlet promises that within the app, you can express yourself freely without fear of your data being sold or breached.

Omlet is free for iOs and Android.

Another popular app for safe messaging is TextSecure, which is a free Android app. According to New York Times tech reporter Molly Wood, TextSecure encrypts each message you send through the app and they stay encrypted on your phone. According to TextSecure’s website, the app will be available for iOs by the end of this summer.


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