Study: 13 Million People Haven't Touched Facebook Privacy Settings

There are more than 150 million Americans using Facebook at this point, and that number is growing. But do you know everything you need to about your privacy when it comes to social networking? Maybe not, as a new exhaustive study from Consumer Reports on social networking privacy found that 13 million American Facebook users have never touched their privacy settings.

Facebook and other social networks you use collect a lot of information on you, which is great for when you want to find that one guy you used to know back in the day, or see an ad for something you might actually want. But how is that information being used, where is it going and is it all necessary? If you’ve never changed your default privacy settings, odds are you might be sharing more than you want.

Consumer Reports talked to Facebook and interviewed a plethora of experts on the matter, including privacy lawyers, app developers, and victims of security and privacy abuse. It also surveyed 2,002 online households, including 1,340 that are active on Facebook and projected that data to estimate national totals.

It found out a lot‚ including the fact that almost 13 million users said they’ve never set, or were unaware of, Facebook’s privacy tools. Around 28% also said they’ve shared all or almost all of their wall posts with audiences outside their friend group. Many also used Facebook to share plans about when they were going to leave the house — convenient for any burglars reading.

Privacy problems are on the rise, as well — 11% of households using Facbeook said they had a sticky situation in the last year, from being harassed to someone using their log-in.

For the complete, exhaustive Consumer Reports article on all things privacy-related online, check out the source link below. And maybe go dig around in your privacy settings, if you haven’t yet.

Facebook & your privacy [Consumer Reports]