How much information do you share on Facebook? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

How much information do you share on Facebook?

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How good are you at protecting your identity and privacy? 

You may be surprised by the things you don't realize you do that practically hands personal information over to thieves.

It's more than just giving your bank account number or social security number to someone over the phone. WTOC spoke to people down in City Market and every single person said they never give their bank account or social security number to anyone, but they all knew people on Facebook and other social media, and even apps like Instagram, who tell everybody pretty much everything about them. 

It's all stored on what is called your digital profile.

Ask anyone about public privacy. They or someone they know use Facebook.

"I restrict it to just family most of the time," Wanda McDonald told WTOC.

"I got some friends who are on it and I wouldn't trust that too much either, " Clint Leibel said.

"There's some stuff I wouldn't put on there."

"The other day I saw a young lady. She had a baby but she had weed in her hand...on Facebook! That's never good. Never," McDonald said.

Chances are, if you look at a friend's profile, somewhere they have told everyone where they are, who they are with and tipped someone off to the fact they are not home or even in town. 

"Yeah,  a lot of people do that and post where they are and when they'll be back. I never do that. No," McDonald said. "That gives someone the opportunity to go in and rob you."

"You don't want to make it too public, and with Facebook it is far too public and too big of a network," Brian Hodge, Head "Surgeon" at Digital Doc of Savannah, told WTOC. 

Hodge showed WTOC exactly what we're talking about, including a full birthdate, personal phone numbers made public and other information a hacker would love to get their fingers on. Everytime someone joins a group, plays a game or even "likes" a picture, it adds to their digital profile and strips away at their privacy.

"People don't realize a lot of things they post on Facebook, the privacy settings are completely wrong and public. They make it available to all, and friends, and we all know we don't know all of those friends and what they do with that information," Hodge said.

Hodge sees the same thing happening with phone apps like Instagram, which you can share to Facebook.

"People take mirror shots of themselves in their bedrooms and don't realize there are jerseys and things, and people can find out what school you went to and where you live just off the picture. A picture is worth a 1,000 words," he said.

"If you absolutely must have a kajillion friends, try switching them to acquaintances," Hodge said. "Some you will never know, you will never meet or talk to."

The easiest way to protect yourself on Facebook is simple too.

"If I don't know them I don't accept," McDonald said.

Here are some more Facebook protection tips: 

Change your information on your page to private or friends only.

Hide the year of your birthdate.

Select who can see your information. You can switch people to acquaintances and it limits what they see. 

It's also true that marketing groups store information about people based on their activity on Facebook.

There are web sites like Every time you click the "like" button on Facebook, marketers store that information in a database and they use that to determine your personality profile and figure out what products you may like.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.



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