How new Facebook user profiles impact privacy

Facebook today announced its New Profile, designed to help users share their experiences, discover common interests and highlight meaningful relationships. The service will be rolled out across Facebook’s 500 million accounts over the coming months.

According to a Facebook blog, the new feature encourages users to, “Give a more complete picture of how you spend your time, including your projects at work, the classes you take and other activities you enjoy (like hiking or reading). You can even include the friends who share your experiences.”

Users should think carefully about how much information they are willing to share using this new service. Information about users’ life and lifestyle is much more use to identity thieves, cyberscammers and fraudsters than it is to the average person that might be a friend on Facebook.

“Adding features to facilitate sharing updates, interests and photos may be appealing to some Facebook users, however people need to be wary about how much personal information they’re willing to give away online,” said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos.

“Many Facebook users are online “friends’ with complete strangers and so we’d advise Facebook users to consider their privacy settings, make sure they’re only sharing information with people that they know and trust and to think carefully about how much personal information they want to make public.”

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