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How Valuable is Your Online Privacy? Choose Your Virtual Friends Wisely

Any person with a television, an internet connection, and/or a means to access the news has heard something about online privacy issues. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, or MySpace, spammers and con artists are roaming free. Just how much is your privacy important to you, and what are you doing to protect yourself?

I am astounded by some people’s casual approaches to online protection. It’s shocking to read about people who approve every online friend request they receive on their personal accounts, regardless of whether or not they know the requester (or even LIKE him or her). Why do people casually give profile access to strangers? To me, this seems like a pointless popularity contest rather than a legitimate attempt to stay in touch with your real friends while online.

Many times, if you’re not careful, spammers can infiltrate your profile just because ONE of your friends approved him or her. For example, a couple months ago, I received a Facebook friend request on my personal account from a person named “John Doe”; I don’t know anyone by that name. So, I checked to see if we had any friends in common (perhaps to give me a clue as to where I may know him) and found that we had 1 friend in common (let’s call her Martina). Since I still wasn’t familiar with “John Doe” after talking to our “mutual” friend Martina, I denied his request. Slowly but surely, this spammer sent friend requests to every person on Martina’s friend list, and many of them approved him because they saw there were a few “friends in common”. Well, needless to say, this error was eventually discovered (spam galore) and “John Doe” got deleted from almost everyone’s friend list…but it all could have been avoided if people had used caution in the first place!

Perhaps I’m just cautious, but I feel that I have a right to be. I don’t feel comfortable sharing my personal information with complete strangers, regardless of how many friends we have in common. My rule for personal accounts is this: If I don’t personally know the requester, then they get denied. I realize everyone is different, and that’s fine, but please remember to use caution – especially if you have sensitive information like phone numbers, addresses, etc. on your page! If you wouldn’t walk up to a random person on the street and give them your address or phone number, then you shouldn’t give strangers access to that information online, either!

Of course, Facebook accounts that are set up for businesses have different rulesI’m referring specifically to PERSONAL accounts in this blog.

DISCLAIMER: ANYONE and EVERYONE is welcome on the Quality Logo Products Facebook and Twitter pages! :)

What do you think about online privacy? How wisely to you choose your online friends? Let us know! Thank you for reading the Quality Logo Products blog, and we look forward to reading your comments!



Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

Comments

  1. Jim Barber

    Hello, in the past I have visited your company website interested in your marketing products for my business. You have clearly posted links to “Follow Quality Logo Products on Twitter and Facebook”… so it appears you are inviting anyone who visits your website to join your social sites as well. I don’t recall, but there is a chance that I clicked those links strictly with the intent of finding out more about your products. While I totally agree that folks need to be cautious as to whom they “friend” online, I would also mention that by posting an invitation on a public business site such as you did, you are going to get lots of requests from people you haven’t actually met. If I innocently clicked your friend request as a possible business resource, I’m sorry. I’d hate to get a reputation as a spammer. By the way, I prefered to send you this as a private note, but couldn’t find anyway to do so on this blog. Thank you!

    • QLP Jill

      Hi Jim,
      I’m terribly sorry for not clarifying the intent of this post! I didn’t mean to suggest that this mysterious person sent a friend request to Quality Logo Products – it occurred on my personal Facebook account and I wanted to share the experience with others. I realize that business accounts have much different rules, and that many people befriend others whom they don’t personally know, which is just fine in my eyes!

      EVERYONE is always welcome on the Quality Logo Products pages, which is why we encourage people to visit them with the “Follow Quality Logo Products on Twitter and Facebook” posts. I am sorry if I made it seem on the contrary. I have made a change or two to this post and added a disclaimer as to not misguide anyone further, and I apologize profusely for this oversight. We would love to have you as a Facebook friend and as any other kind of social media friend, so please request away! And if you’d like to contact us in a more private manner, you can send an email to info@qualitylogoproducts.com. Thanks again for bringing this error to my attention, and I hope you have a great day!

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