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Protecting your privacy on Facebook and other social media sites

Local experts are offering advice to protect your data and privacy on Facebook and other social media networks. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE - As Mark Zuckerberg began answering questions on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, local experts are offering advice to protect your data and privacy on Facebook and other social media networks.

“I think you have to assume that when you’re using social media or you’re doing anything online that it’s public information” cybersecurity expert Dr. Barbara Endicott-Popovsky said. “That may not be your intent, but you can’t assume privacy.”

RELATED | New Facebook tool tells you if your data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica

Dr. Endicott-Popovsky is the Executive Director for the Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity at the University of Washington. She deleted her Facebook years ago because she was concerned about their privacy standards.

She tells KOMO News that social media users need to be thoughtful consumers online.

“Think like your adversaries,” she said, stressing that users should show skepticism and realize the value of their data. But she doesn’t think users need to delete Facebook, only do a risk assessment.

“If someone is comfortable and thinks they get more benefit than risk out of it, I say go ahead and do it, but what people aren’t recognizing is the risk of being online period,” she said.

Facebook offers tools to protect privacy and data on Facebook. You can download your Facebook data and change your privacy settings.

Experts also recommend you check and delete unfamiliar apps that have access to your data.

You can do that in your Facebook settings, by clicking “Apps and Websites” in the left column.

POLL: Do you think the Federal Government should regulate social media? Answer the poll below or click here.


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