Not more than ten years ago it would take a little leg work for a potential attacker to be able to get enough personal information about you to be dangerous.
The spread of personal information on the Internet is a recent phenomenon.
There were some local government web sites online that would give out your deed information.
Also there were other sites online that would give out your telephone number and maybe your address.
Just like the local yellow pages used to do.
Do You Share Too Much Information?
These days you may be giving out way more information than that and not even realize it.
Most people do not understand exactly which piece of information could end up hurting them.
They believe that if they protect their credit card and social security number, that will be all of the protection that they will ever need.
People post a lot of personal information on social networking sites such as Facebook that can end up hurting them.
Now Facebook realizes the situation and has done something about it.
Facebook has decided to make their privacy controls more accessible for everybody.
At the same time they allow you to make more of your personal content private even from friends in your personal network.
Enforced Privacy Settings
The new privacy settings will be forced upon users.
You can chose the skip the process a couple of times but eventually they will force you to chose a setting.
The choices are pretty similar to what they were before, friends, friends of friends, private and everyone.
The difference is in the parts of your personal information that you allow people to see.
Before if they were your friends they would be allowed to see everything about you.
Now you can choose to shut off different parts of the data such as where you work, your Birthday and your political and religious leanings.
This allows the person to feel comfortable about putting that information on the Internet without the fear of someone using it against them.
This is a good time for those changes to be done.
With more and more people learning how to use social networking to their advantage, some of the new people are leaving themselves vulnerable to cunning attackers that would use the personal information against them.
Now they have an easy to walk through wizard that allows even a new person to understand the privacy settings.
Facebook has had their share of privacy issues in the past with the Beacon program and the ability of advertisers to be able to use a friends profile as a recommendation engine for their products.
This time it seems like they are on the right side of the privacy issue.
In the new era of openness there are still some things that you should not want out in public.