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Ask Slashdot: Facebook, Twitter For Business, Is It Worth the Privacy Trade-Off?

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the give-and-take dept.

Businesses 158

cayenne8 writes "I've been a staunch advocate of NOT joining Facebook or Twitter or the other social networks to protect my privacy and to not voluntarily give all my personal information away to corporate America, or even the Government. However, I'm beginning to look into making money through various means on the side, one of them being photography/videography. With these mediums, being seen is critically important. Having a business facing site on Facebook/Google+ and even using Twitter can be great for self promotion, and can open up your business to a huge audience. If you were to open your FB and other social network accounts with business ONLY information, and keep your personal information (name, image, etc) off the Facebook account...will this keep your personal privacy still from them, or are their algorithms good enough to piece together who you are from the business only sites? Is the payoff worth the potential trade-off for generating potential customers for your business and guiding them to your primary website?"

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158 comments

Cookies and referers (4, Interesting)

Albanach (527650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283097)

See all those sites you visit with a facebook like button. Those images are usually served from facebook, not the site you're visiting.

So, unless you're careful with your privacy settings, you are likely reporting a huge amount of your browsing to facebook.

At the very least, I'd recommend logging out of facebook when you're done and trying to browse with 3rd party cookies disabled.

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283317)

See all those sites you visit with a facebook like button. Those images are usually served from facebook, not the site you're visiting.

If facebook ever goes down for an extended period of time, it would probably halt half the internet (which may be a good thing).

I remember it used to be the case that you had to want 10-20 seconds for adserve....facebook.com to timeout before blockbuster.com would respond at all.

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283337)

Use a business machine and only log in there. It's all about managing your public image after that. Only posting photographs that you wish to leverage to promote yourself as opposed to having one promoted with your underwear on your head is the general idea.

Re:Cookies and referers (4, Funny)

edibobb (113989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283483)

Aw, man... I've been doing it backwards!

Re:Cookies and referers (2)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284199)

Hopefully the posting, not the underwear.

Segregated logins (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283837)

Personally I had (past tense) a fb account but I haven't used it for many years.

But my business does have a fb presence - it has its own fb account and in the office a cpu is dedicated for that fb account.

Nothing important is on that dedicated cpu - so all the info fb can obtain from that dedicated machine is the ip (static) and the hw/sw info.

Re:Cookies and referers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283941)

hosts file, iptables, alternate DNS servers (with web filtering) are just three easy solutions to your problem. You can use one of them or all of them together to effectively disappear from their radar and take your privacy back.

Re:Cookies and referers (2, Funny)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284989)

Hosts file? Where can I find an expert to outline the benefits of that method?

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42285145)

Hosts file? Where can I find an expert to outline the benefits of that method?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo....ooooo...!! Oh, the humanity!

Re:Cookies and referers (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284265)

My mind gets blown by sites that demand you authenticate from FB in order to use functions like posting, seeing pictures, and other stuff.

Call me crazy, but basic security 101 just says that you don't trust another site with the keys to your kingdom... especially with zero assurance that it might even work.

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284527)

Ah but you potentially gain 600 million auto logged in users, no barrier, one click access.

Decisions decisions.

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284617)

Honestly.. I really don't care that much.. which is funny... but the convenience of not having to remember passwords to every site I see an article I want to comment on is a plus. I know there's aggregation of data, the fact is a lot of it is already there anyhow. If you really are concerned about it, as suggested, use a dedicated machine with it's own public IP for any social stuff, and don't do it on your regular machine. I'm more concerned about all the unencrypted email traffic the US government is logging than I am about facebook knowing that I visited any given site.

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284823)

The web site owner's pov is not always the same as the web site user's pov. So not too hard a decision for a webmaster to use Facebook or Google for login, especially if those sites make it easy to use.

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284821)

Exactly. I have to admit I haven't looked into it, but I'm really worried about the security implications. Many sites offer logging in by Open Id, Yahoo, Facebook, Google, and some more. On top of their own account. I'll always register a new account (usually easy enough) if I really want - too worried about such sites snooping my passwords. Plus of course the fact that Facebook has more than enough info about me already, no need to provide them even more.

Now I wouldn't call my Facebook account my kingdom - it's just one of the many web site accounts that I have in that respect, and I'm not about to use the login credentials of one site to login to another site.

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283345)

Are you basically saying IF I did set up the business account, to make sure I was not logged into that business FB account when browsing around from one of my computers?

Re:Cookies and referers (3, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283423)

Are you basically saying IF I did set up the business account, to make sure I was not logged into that business FB account when browsing around from one of my computers?

I was replying on the presumption that you have no way to avoid a FB account in the line of work you want to pursue and that you'd like to protect your privacy as much as possible.

Assuming that's the case, I'd make sure I was logged out of the account. Others have suggested there might be plugins that can help by blocking these links from third party websites, and I think that too would be worth your exploring.

Social networks can only build a picture of you based upon what you give them. The trouble is that it's very very easy to not even realize you're giving them vast quantities of personal information as you browse third party websites.

Re:Cookies and referers (2, Informative)

Roderic9 (2454194) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284761)

My own experiments show that the facebook cookie is transferred by the site to Facebook even if you have logged out. The only way to ensure that facebook doesn't follow you around is to delete its cookies before going anywhere else.

Ghostery (4, Informative)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283355)

See all those sites you visit with a facebook like button. Those images are usually served from facebook, not the site you're visiting.

Ghostery blocks them

Re:Ghostery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283637)

Cool, I did not know about this. I was blocking these, I think it works..

.*facebook.com/plugins.*
.*facebook.com/widgets.*
.*facebook.com/extern.*

Re:Ghostery (1)

stooo (2202012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284543)

just block that single one, it will work :

*facebook.com*

Re:Ghostery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283749)

There is so much I miss due to Ghostery, AdblockPlus, and NoScript. I forget about that until someone reminds me why I don't see that stuff. Thanks for the reminder.

Re:Ghostery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283835)

isn't Ghostery proprietary? If so, I wouldn't be caught dead using it. Better to use Tor.

Re:Ghostery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284115)

Tor can hide who you are, but not what you're doing. Ghostery makes it so that Facebook et al don't even know someone accessed a website with a like button in the first place. It really disgusts me that people willingly hand over their visitors' data to Facebook, even more so when Facebook isn't even paying them like the advertisers.
Ghostery is proprietary, and, unfortunely, I don't know of any free alternatives. One possible work-around is to directly block the offending domains in your hosts file or with a proxy with filtering capabilities. For the latter you can use squid + adzapper (it can do more than blocking ads).

Re: Cookies and referers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283457)

Use a separate browser for FB, et al, and don't do any other web surfing in that browser.

Re:Cookies and referers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283501)

This is hysterical. I guess he'll have to forfeit his righteous indignation after this.

But anyway, things to know:

Facebook doesn't sell user info.

There's no mechanism to make you provide accurate info, and the platform doesn't ask for much more than a name and email address.

Block the Like button stuff outside Facebook if you aren't already. There are 8 trillion plugins and apps that do this.

Good luck with the business.

Re:Cookies and referers (2, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283585)

Facebook doesn't sell user info.

I thought they did, but only indirectly.

You can't buy the names and addresses of people from them, but you can request an ad be shown to gay males between 20 and 25 living in the Houston area, then it's up to you to track the IP addresses from your Facebook campaign, and gather the IPs from those people. You can now track them all you like by IP, place cookies (even malicious ones, if you don't mind getting banned from advertising again).

Re:Cookies and referers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284123)

No not seen those yet.

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284295)

One Word:

requestpolicy [requestpolicy.com] requestpolicy

Vanilla (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284903)

You still "get reported", in the form of your IP address and browser identity, even if you're logged out.

Re:Cookies and referers (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284955)

Adblock + EasyPrivacy

Yes, and use a one-time-only address (5, Informative)

jfruh (300774) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283101)

Having a social media presence is pretty crucial to doing the sort of freelance work you're describing, since so much of how you get business happens via word of mouth (and so much of "word of mouth" happens on social media).

One of the simplest things you can do to protect your privacy is to create an email addres that you *only* use for social media accounts (like, a special gmail address that just forwards mail to your regular adress, or maybe facebook@yourdomain.com if you own your own domain). This rather horrifying article [wsj.com] from the WSJ about the way that social media tracking work makes clear that your email address is a big part of how your identity is tracked online. If they can't match the email address you use for your Facebook login with any other aspects of your online identity, you have some protections.

If you're using them strictly as a business tool, I wouldn't worry too much about photos -- I do think it's helpful to have a photo of yourself, especially in a one-to-one business like freelance photography. You can set your Facebook account so other people can't tag you in their photos.

online name (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283185)

chronoss chiron
real name nothing like that
email a strange gmail account
and ive never ever used my real name anywhere in the entire history ive been on the net

some arabs thought i was arab once and invited me to a site when i told em i was scottish well i got booted LOL
the rub is people could do this type a thing for business too. Think how holly molly the stripper makes a buck....that ain't her real name but its prolly registered as a business name and thus IT can make money....want privacy as much as you can thats about all i can offer other then the above.

fact is if they are tracking my email address then good for them track away if i stop using it and this name then what...
oh and one year i tried to many name syndrome and had 96 email accounts..WHAT you say well 10 meg form geocities per each...ROFL

Re:online name (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283629)

I've used my real name thousands of times on the Internet. I got paid $1000 for reviewing a book once, based on a letter to the editor I wrote once, using my real name and email. I've had people track me down 10 years later to send an email to me, after having seen me post something (I'm not sure what), or get a hit on my name from something else. But no bad has ever happened to me, nor has anything ever happened that I would consider a "close call".

I'm ok posting real info, and I don't get the paranoia. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:online name (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284667)

Ever post something controversial on Usenet? Google Groups search will make sure that if you were flamed or ridiculed for it, that it is on the first page of search results.

Re:Yes, and use a one-time-only address (1)

illumnatLA (820383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283195)

If you're using them strictly as a business tool, I wouldn't worry too much about photos -- I do think it's helpful to have a photo of yourself, especially in a one-to-one business like freelance photography. You can set your Facebook account so other people can't tag you in their photos.

Agreed... people are more likely to choose your business when they can connect the business with a face.

Re:Yes, and use a one-time-only address (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283367)

Agreed... people are more likely to choose your business when they can connect the business with a face.

Well, actually, a lot of the photographers that are donig well, on some webinars on CreativeLive...have been saying they found that posting TOO many pics on the FB account was detrimental.

They mentioned to have your branding/logo stuff there, and a few of the high quality images, some of clients you've shot, but that the main thing you wanted to do with it, was to use the FB account to drive traffic to your main website.

As for the email address. Can you register FB with one email (say, made up only for that logong), but in your FB text about yourself, have your company email address there? Would that cause any 'confusion' with FB, or d they suck up and use ANY information in your descriptions and your registration info?

Re:Yes, and use a one-time-only address (1)

Bradmont (513167) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283293)

I take it a step further -- I have a unique (virtual) email address for every site I sign up for, using postfix's recipient delimiter (like gmail's name+keyword@gmail.com). So, for example, s+slashdot@mydomain.com. If ever one gets corrupted (or leaked to a spammer) I can just start rejecting mail to it.

Re:Yes, and use a one-time-only address (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283633)

Two problems with that:
1) Most places won't accept email addresses with plus signs in them. I've tried :(
2) It's trivial to cut off the extra keyword and track you by the main address on their backends. Any tracking company worth trying to avoid will be able to defeat such measures in most instances.

Re:Yes, and use a one-time-only address (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284621)

Does postfix allow you to use something other than a +? Like an underscore or the letter z for instance?

Re:Yes, and use a one-time-only address (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42285159)

The plus (+) is part of the mail standard, so all compliant mail transfer agents should support it. That should include postfix. Other characters are not supported because they are not part of the standard.

Re:Yes, and use a one-time-only address (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283769)

Just don't put much of your professional work on FB. I believe that FB claims copyright ownership to all text and imagery posted. Just provide a link to a page that you own.

Re:Yes, and use a one-time-only address (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283777)

For freelance yes social media is or can be a huge part of your networking, but for more established companies, this can often be just a big waste of energy and capital and time. There are lots of studies and anecdotes all over the place signing praise and scorn about social media for business, but if you look for numbers, the real hard numbers behind conversions and ROI for social media campaigns, they're either hard to find or embarrassingly bad.

For example there was a widely publicized "case study" that the bloggers went nuts over a few years ago, one I like to keep around and show my bosses, etc. They compared walmart and target social media campaigns, call walmart dumb and said their campaign failed, called target smart and successful. But, both spent close to a million dollars on this crap and if you look at the actual numbers their cost per conversion was absurdly high and it would be quite a feat to say they achieved an ROI on those campaigns. Target, the "successful" one, spent $500,000 on their campaign and netted a glorious 7,100 members. Even a modest website can generate that kind of traffic in a month with minimal effort.

Marketers love to go on about social media because of how successful it can be, and how low cost, but they always gloss over the time element. You have to be active and on it all the time to get anything out of it, what does that cost? It's time expensive, and that always goes directly back to money expensive, by labor or by your own opportunity cost, so it's just... well it's just expensive. It's like saying "hey do you want free energy, have some people turn the crank of this generator all day ... see free energy!" The only people who really get anything from it is the guy who sells the generator, or facebook.

Basically it's good for people who have more time than money, and need customers, after that, it's really awful and burdensome and will usually cost you in the long run if you want to maintain it. Run a business not a social club. Get customers, not friends.

They are that good (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283123)

Their little data bots are good enough that they already have information on you whether you have an account or not. You and your browser are traceable if you visit any websites with their widgets, whether you are signed in or not. Just bite the bullet and set up a business account already and stop worrying. You aren't that special.

Having a Facebook has certainly helped my business' promotion, it gets a lot more eyes visit our websites.

Re:They are that good (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283377)

Their little data bots are good enough that they already have information on you whether you have an account or not. You and your browser are traceable if you visit any websites with their widgets, whether you are signed in or not. Just bite the bullet and set up a business account already and stop worrying.

Well, my browsers have Ghostery, no script and adblock on them, I honestly don't usually notice seeing any FB links or 'likes' on most websites I visit...

Re:why come no facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283971)

Unscannable! AHHHH!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8yoSAiwY18 [youtube.com]

Sign up as your dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283125)

Nuff said.

No (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283149)

And what kind of unprofessional questions is that anyways?

Re:No (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284841)

As unprofessional as your answer. You obviously don't run your own business.

Part of running your business is getting your name out - and depending on your business that includes plastering it all over the Internet, listing yourself on as many trade related sites as possible, providing a forum for potential customers to contact you, etc. The more you become known, the better it is.

What are the other options? (2)

illumnatLA (820383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283159)

What are your other options for self promotion? Ad in the newspaper? How many people will see it let alone act on it these days? Ad on TV? Is the Return of Investment worth it for what you're trying to do?

Really, for better or worse "social" media is the best way to reach a target audience.

Re:What are the other options? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283461)

There are TONS of other ways to promote yourself and find business (after you've setup a website showing samples of your work):

- Respond to ads on free sites like craigslist*
- Network, network, network online or IRL: participate in specialized forums, volunteer for community events, tell friends who tell their friends, etc.
- Donate your services to "silent auctions" in your community.

I got my freelance work started solely from the above, never posted an ad anywhere. It only takes one or two initial clients who are happy with your work and word of mouth snowballs from there. This works especially well for photographers since most of their business will be local anyways.

* I realize in some areas craigslist is overrun by scammers and spammers, well poor you, works great in my area.

Re:What are the other options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283869)

I'm not the AC above (just don't have an account here) but I agree, there are TONS of options, and it sometimes depends on industry. Make your own website for a start, build yourself out on your own property not on facebook/twitter/google+, those can supplement, but not replace. You don't want to be chasing around fads like a teenage girl. Your website should be center hub with the social media presence and other parts being spokes. This does not stop at the web, it goes for your offline presence as well. Everything from local ads to business cards.

One thing I think really helps if you start thinking in terms of passive. You want to perform actions that give you passive results, so that you can perfom once, and could potentially benefit for months or even years to come.

It's a little sad people asking "if not facebook then what else???" but on the other hand business is competitive so I'm glad some people do think that like makes it easier for me continue to be really lazy :P

Re:What are the other options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283549)

I'm starting up a company as well. I've been successful using meetup.com to promote (face-to-face) my visual effects company. I'm in Silicon Valley. Hope this helps.

Re:What are the other options? (2)

scsirob (246572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284997)

Just make an entry on your website named "Why am I not on Facebook". Explain why you do not join the rage and that you value privacy. Don't make it a rant, just state that you see no value in opening up your life there.You'll attract people who appreciate your value on privacy. They will know that *their* privacy is safe in your hands.

of course not (3, Funny)

fish waffle (179067) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283203)

anything connected somehow is trackable somehow and eventually will be.

...unless you're clever, like Ronald McDonald or Colonel Sanders, the real identities of which are still mysteries.

Re:of course not (3, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283449)

Colonel Harland David Sanders (September 9, 1890 â" December 16, 1980) was an American businessman and restaurateur who founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant chain.

Really.

Re:of course not (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284049)

So they would have you believe. Wake up, sheeple!

Re:of course not (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284815)

Wake up, sheeple!

For ten thousand years have we slumbered whilst you have grown weak and complacent. Now we have returned to lead your people to oblivion like lambs to the slaughter.

Short answer yes... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283239)

In order to build brand awareness online, you must be willing to allow your customers to see everything about you. What is going on in your store at all times, etc. Note that most of the personal information or information that you do not want to be shown can be kept private and not open to the public.

As far as being open to the public through Facebook and Twitter goes, social media experts suggest that you always want to give updates to what is going on even with day to day activities. If someone is wanting to come to your store and there is an issue with power or something, it will cause a negative experience for them to show up and not be able to get the service they need when all it took was a simple Facebook update or Tweet to get the information out and create rapport with your customers.

www.payanywhere.com [payanywhere.com]

tac(0 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283279)

NetBSDX posts on

Any studies that show (3, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283283)

>>>Having a business facing site on Facebook/Google+ and even using Twitter can be great for self promotion, and can open up your business to a huge audience

actually increases sales?

Re:Any studies that show (3, Interesting)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284439)

>>>Having a business facing site on Facebook/Google+ and even using Twitter can be great for self promotion, and can open up your business to a huge audience

actually increases sales?

That's a really good question.

I've run a photography website [imagicity.com] for 9 years, promoting Vanuatu, a tiny but beautiful chain of islands in the South Pacific. Traffic has always been low but steady, and Google image search gives me a decent ranking for my decidedly niche category.

In August, I got recruited to manage the Humans of Vanuatu [facebook.com] Facebook page. The page is still tiny by global standards, but I get people visiting from around the world, a ton of positive feedback and a steadily increasing and solid fan base. I've been featured in an online culture magazine, and now have a regular series in a decent (4 color glossy) lifestyle magazine that focuses on the South Pacific. Three musicians have asked to use my work in their cover art, the local newspaper has offered me a regular feature and I've been solicited to shoot more weddings than I want to[*].

In terms of actual revenue, the jury's still out. I have seen an uptick in website visits, but the vast majority of people prefer to wait for my daily posts. I haven't tried to leverage it much yet, but I've been asked to do an exhibition early next year, with the proceeds going to charity. If that goes well, then maybe I'll try selling prints or a book online.

Best I can suggest at the moment is that a Facebook presence emphatically does increase your exposure, mostly because of what they call 'virality' - the fact that whenever someone Likes a photo of mine, all their friends see it too. This means that I get about ten times as many eyes as I have fans. Will this translate to money? Not sure yet. Why not Like my page [facebook.com] and follow me to find out? 8^)

--------
[*] In fairness, I just loathe shooting weddings. So one would be too many.

Privacy is an illusion (2)

devforhire (2658537) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283305)

They already have or can gain easy access to all that information. The govt already has a ton of info on you, tax records, dmv, etc. Business do also (you prolly get junk mail every day addressed to you.) It's a fact of life, it sucks, but thinking you can erase or hide your digital or paper trail is foolish. If you want to protect privacy spend your time fighting to protect it, don't waste it trying to hide.

Re:Privacy is an illusion (5, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283427)

They already have or can gain easy access to all that information. The govt already has a ton of info on you, tax records, dmv, etc. Business do also (you prolly get junk mail every day addressed to you.) It's a fact of life, it sucks, but thinking you can erase or hide your digital or paper trail is foolish. If you want to protect privacy spend your time fighting to protect it, don't waste it trying to hide.

Well, actually....after Katrina, I fell off a LOT of lists, and over the years, I've been pretty careful to not put my personal name out there again. I get very little junk snail mail. Over the past year, I've gotten a few. But moving around so much after the storm, addresses changed often, and I was lax in catching up most anything to those.

Heck, even now, my car registration says out Parish, my drivers license say another one and another address, from the parish I currently live in right now.

Registering for voting was a fun exercise, let me assure you that.

:)

No, I'm not invisible by any stretch of the imagination, but I also don't go out of my way to give information out to companies out there, I actually go out of my way to give disinfromaton whenever I can. Customer store cards, in some I'm a 98 yr old Hispanic lady name Sven, whose shopping habits HAVE to skew their system a bit, and most any time I fill out anything that isn't legal, I fudge the years and dates around, give out wrong or partially wrong names, etc. Anything that goes into a non-legal database usually has misguided information about me, but often to the correct address.

It is funny to see some junk mail that arrives here that comes from the fscked up data I give them.

Re:Privacy is an illusion (2)

devforhire (2658537) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283647)

I salute you, noise is most likely the best way to protect yourself. I do the same from time to time also. My main point is the effective use of time, if you can easily be invisible by all means be invisible and I sincerely hope you can stay that way. But once the helicopter spot light is on you, it might not be worth the effort to get back into the shadows. But that is for each of us to decided.

Re:Privacy is an illusion (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283673)

I went out of my way to give my info to companies when I moved, and most didn't follow me. The only thing I get is my insurance bill. My banks have my address but won't use it. The trick is, move out of North America. Most don't have the ability to put in the correct address. My "state" is an 8-character string, and most US systems check for a 2-character string only, often only one of 50-60 choices (allowing 3-chars, only if those 3 are APO or FPO). My bank will officially not do business with me as a "foriegn national" (who is a US citizen) because of that HSBC stuff. It's hard to touch my US money because the only reason someone would move USD out of the USA is to buy drugs.

Re:Privacy is an illusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284191)

100% false. The government might, but I certainly don't want to make the situation worse by handing over all of my information to private companies, too!

"The situation is already bad, so make it worse!"

So let me get this straight (4, Insightful)

enjar (249223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283319)

You want to start working freelance and you don't want to publicize how people can reach you? I'd expect a decent head shot, a phone number, a short bio and an email address. Also representative galleries of past work, as well.

You don't have to put your life story out there, but it's really not uncommon in business to have some small amount of "About Me" information posted with experience, education, sometimes martial status/number of children (especially if you are looking to photograph families/children).

If you are going to set up a social media presence, you can't just set up a page and have it sit there. It does require tending and maintenance or it looks abandoned. If you do photography, post examples of good work at a steady pace, even if it's not paying gigs. Hopefully people forward it around and you get some notice.

It sounds like you need to loosen up, or find another way of making money on the side that doesn't require social media. You can be a successful freelander without it, but you will still need to get your name out there somehow (personal networking, business networking groups, etc)

Re:So let me get this straight (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284435)

You want to start working freelance and you don't want to publicize how people can reach you? I'd expect a decent head shot, a phone number, a short bio and an email address.

Pretty much this.

If you were to open your FB and other social network accounts with business ONLY information, and keep your personal information (name, image, etc) off the Facebook account...will this keep your personal privacy still from them

This is silly, and I don't mean in the Internet era, but in any era. Go back to ye old pre-Internet days. Would you expect to be able to place an ad in a newspaper but refuse to give them your name, phone number, address and credit card information?

Re:So let me get this straight (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284777)

martial status

I'm a corporal and I know ninjutsu.

You are in control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283393)

Always remember that you are in control over how much information you make available to others. If you don't want the world to know your SO pads her bra, then DON'T post that information. If you don't want the government to know you are cheating on your taxes DON'T post that. If you don't want your home burglarized by criminals, DON'T post your home address and then say your going on a six month tour of Europe. Figure that whatever you do post will be harvested for profit by unscrupulous people no matter what the currently published "privacy" policy is and what settings you are using.

Honestly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283415)

I use Facebook sometimes, as well as Mixi, and G+. I am not a heavy user of any of them, but they are ok. As far as privacy, just don't put in Facebook anything secret. That's easy.

What I don't get is the business thing. For example, let's say I love Sony. That's great, but it doesn't mean I want to be "facebook buddies" with them. I'm sorry, but that's not what Facebook is useful for. I also don't need tweets (or a blog) from the ramen place down the street that I eat at. There are various reasons I don't have any interest in "friending" companies in general:
1. They get information on me I might not want them to have.
2. I don't get anything much useful from it
3. There is linked-in for that kind of stuff.

If you want to promote yourself, you can certainly use the tools you want, but at the end of the day, Facebook is basically a system for connecting for forgotten high-school buddies, not a professional promotion tool. Your best way to self-promote is:
1. Do something really useful and do a good job at it - let word of mouth work
2. Get permission to share work you did for clients as samples (a portfolio of photos, programs, etc.). Put some portion of this online on your own web site.
3. *Maybe* make a blog or something if it suits your work.

Twitter: yes. Facebook: No. (4, Insightful)

Zadaz (950521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283421)

I think Twitter is worth it because there are very few privacy concerns. Twitter is 98% public, and everyone who participates knows it. (I hope.)

Facebook is a privacy nightmare, and is crap for driving business to your web site. It does everything it can to keep all information on Facebook, including jerking everyone around. And that will only increase.

Once you post something on either service it's out of y our control. With Twitter it's pretty minor, 140 characters, and it will be gone eventually. (I believe they only archive the last 2000 Tweets or so.) Facebook is trying to make a timeline of people's entire lives and won't stop trying to make money off your content until well after you're dead.

Re:Twitter: yes. Facebook: No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283605)

Yes,in China, we can not login in Facebook by normal way

we are container house manufacturer ,if you are interested in ,pls login in our website to see
www.containerhouse-china.com

Re:Twitter: yes. Facebook: No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42285193)

Yes,in China, we can not login in Facebook by normal way

That is as it should be, prole scum

we are container house manufacturer ,if you are interested in ,pls login in our website to see www.containerhouse-china.com

No thanks, we've quite enough Chinese garbage here already. But, keep peddling your rubbish, you'll find a fuckwit somewhere to take it.

PS: hows the air over there? Breathing easily?

Try these (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283445)

linkedin

elance

media business and facebook account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283497)

are a great cover, go for it

Ignored (1)

no-body (127863) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283515)

dutifully - any FB business showing - Walmart is there!

Better use For Your Time? (1)

rueger (210566) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283551)

Our business has Twitter, and Facebook, and I'm on LinkedIn, and Quora, and Slashdot, and... damn I probably even have a MySpace account hanging around somewhere. The problem with anything online is that you can never, ever stop updating, fixing it, redesigning it, monitoring it....

Beyond that, all that you can do with Facebook is try to get people to "like" you (aka subscribe). E-mail does that better - Constant Contact seems good. All that you're really doing is building a list of people who already know you and probably buy your product. A public list. Is that really of much value?

At the end of the day, I seriously doubt how much any of those drive business for the small operator. Facebook in particular will bury your content in a barrage of cat pictures and weird and sometimes offensive ads - who in hell programs their ad servers? Algorithms by chimps?.

I'm thinking that if time and resources are limited you would do better with a really tight and well designed website, and some money spent on Google Adsense placements. Unlike Facebook, Google seems to be able to hit me with ads that actually might interest me.

-

Opposites (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283597)

You want to increase your exposure, you just don't want to increase your exposure. Hmm. If you want to leverage the benefits of social networking, you may need to make a bit of a trade off here.

FWIW, the "Facebook for Business Pages" stuff is kind of gimped - you can't "Like" other pages and you are limited in other ways. I ended up making up an EMail address and a fake name in order to "Like" other pages (for the free music giveaways), but now Facebook seems to recognize that account on every page I visit.

I've done the Twitter thing for a couple months now, and if they are following me around the web I haven't seemed to notice.

AU CONTRAIRE !! THOSE MAKE YOU OUT AS A DWEEB !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283623)

Dweebs are uncool !! Self-promting dweebs are scum !! Dweebs are poor old sorry sods !! Look it up !! Aqualung !!

Welcome to iinterwebs loser! (1)

musixman (1713146) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283649)

You might have pre-conceived notions of why FB / XYZ / ZZY is bad for you or your company. But the reality of the situation is that if you do "good" then you will be rewarded in the social world. However, if you are a shady MF as a company expect to be called out!

Ok, for starters: (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283667)

1. Big business already knows EVERYTHING about you. Every credit card purchase and WHAT you purchased, where and when is recorded and stuffed in a database, usually some place like Axiom or some other data warehouse.
2. The gubmint has access to the same databases.
3. Deep privacy is no longer possible if you have ever gone into debt, rented an apartment, or done any number of things that involve Large Systems.
4. Shallow privacy can be kept by avoiding Social Networks. But it is fungible and variable.
5. Photography and Videography as a profession are pretty well toast. When a fucking phone takes better video than a $100,000 camera did 30 years ago, the Gig Is Up. Content creation is trivial and a short ride to the poor house, unless you move to LA and suck enough dick to get into the film industry.
6. If you will notice most of the most famous and popular photographs of the past year were taken by amateurs on crap gear.

In short: Only get into a creative profession if it is something you absolutely MUST do, as in, inner necessity I will go insane if I can't do this MUST do. Otherwise, just shoot videos of kittens, post it on youtube and collect the rent.

Re:Ok, for starters: (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284093)

5. Photography and Videography as a profession are pretty well toast. When a fucking phone takes better video than a $100,000 camera did 30 years ago, the Gig Is Up. Content creation is trivial and a short ride to the poor house, unless you move to LA and suck enough dick to get into the film industry.

Content creation is trivial; good content creation just as hard as it was 50 years ago.

6. If you will notice most of the most famous and popular photographs of the past year were taken by amateurs on crap gear.

Many of which are lucky shots. And with a million amateur shots to every professional shot, the amateurs do have an advantage to get lucky and catch that unique moment just because they happen to be there.

Re:Ok, for starters: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42285243)

Content creation is trivial; good content creation just as hard as it was 50 years ago.

No creating good content became a lot easier. The required investment in equipment is largely gone, the required technical knowhow has been greatly reduced as well. That doesn't mean it doesn't take any skill to create good content. But it did become easier and, perhaps more importantly, became accessible to a lot more people. This does shift the whole supply-demand equation and does impact the industry. There are plenty 'amateurs' shooting weddings as a weekend job, that simply didn't happen 30 years ago.

CIA Head: We Will Spy On Americans Through Electri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283737)

CIA Head: We Will Spy On Americans Through Electrical Appliances

Global information surveillance grid being constructed; willing Americans embrace gadgets used to spy on them

Steve Watson | Prisonplanet.com | March 16, 2012

http://www.prisonplanet.com/cia-head-we-will-spy-on-americans-through-electrical-appliances.html [prisonplanet.com]

"CIA director David Petraeus has said that the rise of new "smart" gadgets means that Americans are effectively bugging their own homes, saving US spy agencies a job when it identifies any "persons of interest".

Speaking at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA's technology investment operation, Petraeus made the comments when discussing new technologies which aim to add processors and web connections to previously 'dumb' home appliances such as fridges, ovens and lighting systems.

Wired reports the details via its Danger Room Blog[1]:

"'Transformational' is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies," Petraeus enthused, "particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft."

"Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters - all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing," Petraeus said.

"the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing." the CIA head added.

Petraeus also stated that such devices within the home "change our notions of secrecy".

Petraeus' comments come in the same week that one of the biggest microchip companies in the world, ARM, unveiled new processors that are designed to give practically every household appliance an internet connection[2], in order that they can be remote controlled and operate in tandem with applications.

ARM describes the concept as an "internet of things".

Where will all the information from such devices be sent and analyzed? It can be no coincidence that the NSA is currently building a monolithic heavily fortified $2 billion facility[3] deep in the Utah desert and surrounded by mountains. The facility is set to go fully live in September 2013.

"The Utah data center is the centerpiece of the Global Information Grid, a military project that will handle yottabytes of data, an amount so huge that there is no other data unit after it." reports Gizmodo.

"This center-with every listening post, spy satellite and NSA datacenter connected to it, will make the NSA the most powerful spy agency in the world."

Wired reports[4] that the incoming data is being mined by plugging into telecommunications companies' switches, essentially the same method the NSA infamously uses for warrantless wiretapping of domestic communications[5], as exposed six years ago.

Former intelligence analyst turned best selling author James Bamford, has penned a lengthy piece[6] on the NSA facility and warns "It is, in some measure, the realization of the 'total information awareness' program created during the first term of the Bush administration-an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans' privacy."

----------------------

Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones' Infowars.net[7], and Prisonplanet.com[8]. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

(C) 2012 PrisonPlanet.com is a Free Speech Systems, LLC company. All rights reserved.

[1] http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/ [wired.com]
[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17345934 [bbc.co.uk]
[3] http://gizmodo.com/5893869/this-is-the-most-powerful-spy-center-in-the-world [gizmodo.com]
[4] http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1 [wired.com]
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_warrantless_surveillance_controversy [wikipedia.org]
[6] http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/ [wired.com]
[7] http://infowars.net/ [infowars.net]
[8] http://prisonplanet.com/ [prisonplanet.com]

My advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42283779)

Grow up.

You are under an illusion (1)

Technomancer (51963) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283865)

that you actually have any privacy without joining Facebook or Twitter.

You see all these Facebook buttons everywhere? They are already tracking you without you needing to log in into Facebook or even having an account there.
Same thing for all the ad networks. Single pixel bugs and ads are used to track you. And from scraps of the info you left on some sites, and the emails and addresses you provided to shopping sites they know who you are, where you live, what is your phone number and what size of shoes you wear.
It works so well that for instance after visiting some furniture store site just to browse it, a little while later I got their nice printed catalog in snail-mail.
Oh yeah, and I am browsing with Adblock and Ghostery.
So unless you nuke your cookies and Flash cookies and change IP address every day as well you probably have zero privacy.
Welcome to 21st century.

Privacy? Hahahahaha!!! (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42283913)

A) Facebook and gogke already know all about you, unless you're meticulous with your cookies and only browse through Tor.

B) you're only a subpoena away from the government getting anytime they want about you, at best.

C) privacy is toast, in other words.

D) does a tine even us google+? Moreso, do any real companies have a presence there?

E) I'd be interested in a truelly neutral study about the effectiveness of advertising on Facebook. I know they're raking in the dollars, but that doesn't mean it's money well spent for companies. I know for myself, I use it, and I have yet to visit any business page intentionally. The ones I have seen, I've backed away from immediately. Unless you're running daily specials, there's just no purpose to building a Facebook presence I don't think. Would you pay any amount of money to garner "likes", for instance?

F)I'd suggest go the "ld fashioned route" of a good web presence, some SEO, and some decent spending on AdWords if you're serious about it. Once you have a couple customers, maybe you think aboutvfacebook or twitterif you think they'll provide you any linkage, recommendations or traffic. But no point in investing any time or energy until you've got the basics covered.

G) don't waste any time worrying about privacy. Again, unless you've been nutty with your countermeasures, your privacy Is already long gone. And if you do manage to set up a business presence and keep it totally detached from your online persona,which lol be hard since you'll use the same browser at worst, or just be using the same ip addresss, personal and business at best, corporate info is only a few clicks away on most states' websites.

But go ahead do your business, it can't hurt!

Re:Privacy? Hahahahaha!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284213)

C) privacy is toast, in other words.

So give up and make the situation worse! Privacy is far from dead. Your next door neighbor probably doesn't have cameras installed in your bathroom, for instance.

Also, if you're not an idiot, random companies will not have information about you. So no, privacy is not "toast," and even if it was, the solution wouldn't be to give up and accept that.

Again, unless you've been nutty with your countermeasures, your privacy Is already long gone

The fact that you think this shows how ignorant you are. You don't have to be "nutty" to come up with countermeasures; it is all easy. Sure, you won't ever have perfect privacy, but you can certainly prevent random companies from having a bunch of your information.

Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284005)

Depends.

No, not the diaper. God i'm lame.

Different browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284205)

One browser for business - a different one for personal stuff.

Better yet install virtualbox or something and conduct all your business/facebook browsing from it, reverting to snapshot after each visit.

Paranoia from ignorance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284211)

I make my living extracting content from Facebook's API. If they are recording what sites you visit, it's not exposed anywhere in their API. I can say anything you've directly acted upon with your Facebook account, but looking at something is not a direct action. Further, a sample account was posted to Slashdot at one point, courtesy of the court system and none of that information was in there.

What you actually care about is protecting your information from people like me. To do that is simple. Click the arrow next to Home while logged into your freshly minted account. Then click Privacy Settings.

Now edit Ads, Apps and Websites. Then click "Turn off your ability to use apps, plugins, and websites on and off Facebook. After you turn this off, we will not store information about you when you use apps or websites off Facebook." Set "Old versions of Facebook for mobile" to Only Me. Click Edit Settings next to "How people bring your info to apps they use" and uncheck everything. Disable Instant Personalization. With all of this in place, you become nearly invisible to my code. The most I can ever see is your name and Facebook ID and you may occasionally show up as a friend of someone who uses my Facebook app.

Since you're presumably still paranoid, let's also prevent people from directly interacting with your timeline. Back in Privacy, click Timeline and Tagging. Remember that "Only Me" is under Custom, so lock that bad boy down.

Presto, you're about as private as they come. And if you follow Slashdot, you'll quickly know when it's time to revisit these settings because Facebook has made further changes.

Re:Paranoia from ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42285299)

Hey, thanks very much for this. I'm in a similar position to that of the original poster: I have a FB account for my business, mainly so as to avoid confusion by keeping anyone else from grabbing the same name. (It's not like I'd ever want to post to the damn thing.)

I do have to wonder about something, though. You say you make your living extracting information from FB. I realize you have to eat and all that, but... why do you do what you do? You're clearly intelligent and articulate, you can no doubt argue the anti-FB side of the privacy debate as well as I can, and you shouldn't have any trouble finding a better job. Why continue to (help FB to) make the world a worse place?

Step 1. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42284411)

Add Missy MWAC as a friend.

No, seriously, you should add her as a friend if you are doing any freelance photography. So many people come into the freelance photography business every day that it is almost ridiculous. This is because there is an industry of "Rockstar Photographers" that do nothing but sell stuff to the new photographers. Then, the new photographers get into the workshops, actions and gear and eventually get out of it a few months later. Some last a whole year, but there is a high attrition rate. Just as fast as they appear.

You don't know what you don't know, and it is easy to wash out. However, Missy MWAC sarcastically pokes fun of the newbie mistakes, and will keep you from making the mistakes.

Step 2. Make an account on a non-facebook social media. Facebook likes don't translate into clients, and most of the pages with thousands of like are only liked by other photographers, and not people interested in photography services. If someone is going to refer your photography services via facebook, they can share your web page or other social media page.

Just remember, Facebook is for you to network with other photographers, Pinterest is for you to network with potential wedding or maternity clients, 500px is for you to network with commercial clients, and tumblr is for you to network with editorial and fashion clients. Just remember, if other photographers are commenting, sharing or liking your work, then you are doing it wrong. You need to get in front of possible clients.

correction (1)

stooo (2202012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284509)

"However, I'm beginning to look into making money through various means on the side, one of them being pornography/videography. With these mediums, being seen is critically important"

Corrected the sentence for you :)

Business vs Private (1)

tigersha (151319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284557)

The privacy needs of a business and the privacy needs of a private individual are polar opposites.

Individuals usually want to remain hidden to the general public but not to their circle of friends.
A business usually wants maximum exposure to attract customers. That is the whole idea of advertising.

Yes it is worth it (1)

thewolfkin (2790519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284571)

basically yes. If you segregate everything business related. Run management thru a separate browser. Maybe make Opera your business browser if you're not already using it. Set to wipe on shut down or whatever. Then any privacy concerns should be minimized. Building a respectable small business used to be so much harder and nowadays the only reason it's still a viable option for so many people IS because of social networking. You're going to have to use it even if only minimally as a point of contact. people will want to facebook you rather than email you. it's weird like that.

How much does it *really* help? (3, Interesting)

bradley13 (1118935) | about a year and a half ago | (#42284663)

I see lots of businesses investing in Facebook and Twitter. This is driven by the marketing departments, and especially the younger staff that wants to prove something. Maybe I'm an old geezer, but I am not convinced - in the businesses I am familiar with, I haven't seen any sort of believable results, and the marketing departments can't produce any numbers, only "trust us, we know what we're doing".

Has anyone seen actual, solid numbers from any business that prove that these marketing channels were worth the investment? If so, for what type of business?

It's worse than you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42285275)

I am forced to maintain the facebook page (included in my job responsibilities) for work but do not have a personal account. I'm still at risk and sometimes I work from home.

Here are addons for Firefox that I would recommend:

RequestPolicy (HIGHLY recommended!)
Increases your browsing privacy, security, and speed by giving you control over cross-site requests
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-Us/firefox/addon/requestpolicy/

Facebook, Google, or Twitter Disconnect
Don’t let Facebook, Google, or Twitter follow you around the web
(Be aware thant the Google Disconnect addon will prevent embedded youtube videos from showing up)
https://disconnect.me/tools

Ghostery
Protect your privacy. See who's tracking your web browsing and block them
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-Us/firefox/addon/ghostery/?src=search

Use a HOSTS file to block ads, banners, 3rd party Cookies, 3rd party page counters, web bugs, and hijackers
http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

The sad truth is that you are tracked every time a youtube video is in a page or a graphic image is displayed from other sites. You don't even realize how much you are being tracked until you understand how many cross-site requests there are that do NOT use java script (that means that NoScript won't help you there).

And really, nothing is going to help you with your ISP tracking every URL you go to in any browser - unless you use Tor. And don't think for a moment that companies like Time Warner Cable or Verizon are on your side.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't fight for privacy. It's just a shame that so many mindless idiots really don't care.

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