Pastor's Corner

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Facebook Safety Issues

So you are on Facebook, check out some numbers on you, the user.

Facebook Statistics:

   1.09 billion Daily active users on average for March 2016

   989 million Mobile daily active users on average for March 2016

   1.65 billion Monthly active users as of March 31, 2016

   1.51 billion Mobile monthly active users as of March 31, 2016

   Approximately 84.2% of our daily active users are outside the US & Canada

So what? Right, so what? Well, this is the level of connection that exists on Facebook worldwide, and this matters because these numbers show us how embedded in the culture Facebook has become. Facebook had 1 million users in 2004, 608 million in 2010, and now we see the members are over 1 billion. Memes, pictures of food, pictures of animals, selfies, and social and political statements abound every day. Half of all Facebook users have more than 200 friends, and Facebook made more than $1bn in revenue from mobile advertising in just one quarter.

That last number is significant because while everyone is using Facebook, you are being mined for information you are willingly putting online. Facebook has become so embedded in modern culture, folks have lost sight of the safety risks involved with being online. Everything you are posting on Facebook is being mined by some someone; all of your personal information, cookies from recent internet searches, everything. I regularly see folks posting enough information on their accounts – that stealing identities would not be difficult. And knowing the security risks, I also recognize what types of information criminals and sexual predators are looking for, and using, all of the time.

A few years ago, I traveled nationally speaking on internet safety and security issues. From one coast to the other, I spoke to elementary school students, Jr. High and Sr. High schools, colleges, and parent groups. I can’t get into details on how all of this is done here on the internet, because I do not want to help anyone use this information who doesn’t already know how. But I wanted to post a warning reminder; the predators are still using Facebook, criminals are still using Facebook, and all of that personal information you are posting is making you vulnerable to safety and security risks. Think a little more about what you are posting and how it can be used to hurt you before you keep posting all of that personal stuff. For your own sake, for your family’s sake, use some discretion. 



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