Facebook Needs Security, Privacy in Line with Web Influence

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-08-18 Print this article Print


5. FarmVille addicts 

FarmVille might be the most popular game to ever hit Facebook, but that doesn't mean that users should be inundated with updates from it. As most Facebook users know, the social network is pelted by FarmVille updates from other users who love the game. Whether it's a request for a new stable for horses or something else, FarmVille updates are extremely annoying. And they generally break the flow of the news feed. They should be kept in check far more effectively than they are now. 

6. A true enterprise focus 

In this time when budgets are small, the enterprise has found that sites like Facebook and Twitter work quite well for getting teams to work closely. But they've also been burned by Facebook's security and privacy problems. Realizing that, maybe it's time for the social network to think about its enterprise strategy. If it can make the site more appealing to companies, it could go a long way toward ensuring its longevity. After all, there are several enterprise-focused social networks on the Web. Why shouldn't Facebook be one of them? 

7. It's time to be honest 

As mentioned, Facebook has had some trouble selling users on the viability of its privacy settings. But the main reason why it has such trouble is because the company isn't as honest as it should be. It needs to make it clear that it has a vested interest in seeing users share content. It should inform them that the more they share, the more the company stands to gain financially through more targeted advertising. It might turn some users off, but others will welcome the honesty. Facebook wants users to share information. Maybe it's time it admits that. 

8. More security features 

As more scams continue to impact Facebook, it's time for the social network to implement more effective security measures. The company's blog is fine for informing the public of issues, but it's time that Facebook adds better authentication. And perhaps most importantly, it shouldn't provide such easy access to a user's profile page. That alone could go a long way in keeping scams from growing as rapidly as they do now. 

9. The tired Facebook Marketplace 

When Facebook launched its Marketplace, there was a strong hope that the service could become a place where its 500 million active users buy and sell goods. The only problem is that Facebook Marketplace doesn't have the kind of appeal that the social network had hoped for. And so far, it has proved to be an extra page that few people pay attention to. It's time Facebook ditches the Marketplace, or at least makes it less obtrusive to those users who don't visit it. 

10. The defaults that scare users 

When it comes to privacy, much of the outcry is over Facebook's default settings. Unless a user goes into his or her account settings and alters them, all kinds of information will be readily available to others. For example, Facebook Ads displays user information in ads to other friends by default. In order for users to change that, they need to ask the service to not share any information through ads with anyone else. That's a mistake. Facebook needs to go back to the drawing board when it comes to defaults. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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