Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm living Facebook free! And here's why you should too! Plus alternatives to using Facebook!

Facebook is one of those things that you "just have to have." It's a popular trend and if a friend asks you "Are you on Facebook" and you reply "No, I do not." Then you're friend is going to start to question your logic as to why you do not own a Facebook account. Since "Everybody is on Facebook, you have to have one." None of that is technically true. You do not have to have a Facebook account. It's not a law by any stretch of the imagination.
I'm one of those people who've been violently with Facebook over recent corporate and technical decisions. They've put security in the backseat for so long and now it's finally gotten to my head, so I'm simply deleting my Facebook account (Permanently: Here's how to do so)
For one thing, security is terrible. Sure Facebook (finally!) added SSL (Secure) to their whole site (Except for Facebook apps that don't support SSL). But that's not enough. Especially since most popular Facebook apps, such as FarmVille, don't support SSL and when you enter that app you exit out of SSL and leave you vulnerable to the outside world.
Even if you stay completely within Facebook SSL, you still have to worry about both, you, and your friends' accounts being hacked. If your friend's account gets taken over by hackers, then you are surrendering your privacy to the hacker. Even if you are practicing good security measures, the hacker can post pictures on your wall, can post comments and "posts" on your wall, and can see everything you allow your friends to see. This is a major concern of mine since the new trend in hacking is Facebook accounts. So I'm done being subjected to hackers!
The security risk of owning a Facebook account with personal information is so high in this high tech era, that I've decided to leave Facebook for good!
Hopefully already I've persuaded you to delete your account, but if you're worried that there isn't any good alternatives for Facebook, think again!
Alternatives for Facebook's services
  • Google Groups - If you want to share personal news, interesting content, then you can post it on Google Groups. And yes, you can make it a private group.
  • Flickr - Flickr is the most popular photo sharing site. It's owned by Yahoo, so if you have a Yahoo account, then you have a Flickr account. It has all of what you expect. Sharing photos with the whole internet, or with just a private group of people.
  • Picasa - Picasa is similar in the ways I just described, except it's owned by Google, and has tight integration with Android devices. And with other smartphones as well. Picasa also has a desktop application for Windows that has some basic photo editing capabilities and sharing capabilities.
  • YouTube - This one is obvious, but Google's YouTube website offers a great place for you to share videos with friends. Like all the other services I just mentioned, you can make your videos private to only you, and a group of people.
  • UStream - This allows you to stream live video from a webcam, or any video camera attached to your computer, to stream it to the web. Of course, you can make the stream private to a group of people, but by default it'll be public.
  • A blog - I know this doesn't sound quite as exciting, but a blog or a website that allows you to integrate all your content (Video, photos, and written content) onto one page so you can give anybody and everybody one website address to remember and they can see everything you have to share with your friends and family, and everybody else who wants to know more about you. Yes, you can make a blog or website private to a certain group of people. But I hope you choose to make it public, because it indicates how much confidence you have in public respect. People on the web tend to respect people who are more open than private.
Sure, maybe it's not an easy or quick decision, but it'll be one you won't regret. Because with Facebook, you don't own your content, Facebook does! But with a website or a blog, you own the content, not Facebook!

1 comment:

  1. The old adage of "everyone is doing it" is what has kept me leery of Facebook in the first place, plus I agree with you that it would only take some time before the hackers arrived. My idea of fun is not how many people view my page or how popular I have become on the www. That kind of popularity is risky and shallow to say the least.
    Great Blog! Keep 'em coming!