Facebook's Security Tools - Are They Enough?

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Facebook has received numerous complaints over privacy, especially in the past year. Both consumers and privacy organizations have expressed their frustration with the social giant, and in one instance last year, even filed a complaint with the FTC.

Are you satisfied with Facebook’s security measures, or do you fall into this group that has been less than satisfied? Let us know.

In an effort to improve its privacy reputation, Facebook launched a new set of security measures last week. The tools address various needs including child safety and secure connections to the service.

First of all, the company made updates to its Family Safety Center. These modifications offer users tools to notify Facebook of any abusive content. Facebook also made updates to its social reporting tools to allow users to notify others that they trust, as well as Facebook, of this same type of behavior.

Another measure included in the new suite of tools is a Two Factor Authentication. This tool requires users to provide more details when they log in to prevent others from accessing their account. Fourthly, Facebook announced a HTTPS option to ensure a secure connection to the site.

So, now the question is, do these new tools adequately address user needs? John Verdi, Senior Counsel with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), told us that the measures are useful, but that they shouldn't be buried with all the other options.

"The real disappointing thing is that Facebook has not made it the default setting for all users," he said.

Sophos is another privacy firm that has shown the same objections to the new measures that EPIC has shown. Incidentally, Facebook's announcement came one day after Graham Cluley, the Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos, wrote an open letter to the social network asking for tighter privacy for users. More recent blog posts indicate that it is not satisfied with Facebook's latest effort either.

Verdi explained that most consumers do not change their default settings because they don't know they can, or because they simply don't make the effort to make the changes. While many tech companies could do better at educating their users on security, he believes the better solution would be to make the most secure settings the default.

"They really ought to be ensuring that everybody has the most secure connection possible when dealing with the website, particularly, as Facebook institutes itself in more and more online transactions," he added.

Would you like these stronger privacy measures to be the default setting in your Facebook account?

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