Google Plus

Facebook follows Google around in Circles

Facebook has been inspired by the “new kids on the block” Google Plus and their rather nifty security and privacy options in their ‘Circles’ feature.

What is the ‘Circles’ things about? Well, Google Plus’s Circles helps you organize everyone according to your real-life social connections like ‘family,’ ‘work friends,’ and ‘uni friends’ etc, so you can ensure that only a certain group of people see certain information. Facebook have means be able to put your chums into any “friend list” that you’ve created.

Facebook has jumped on this good idea by making their users able to select an option from a menu to select the group of people that the status updates and photos etc can be seen by. This option was located in the privacy settings (in the Account settings in the top right hand corner). However, the option has proudly emerged out of hiding due to Facebook adding a button that appears “out in the open” at the top of the profiles for the user to have a jolly good fiddle about with.

It may be unfair to compare this to stealing. This is more like a bloke that notices that a love rival is getting a lot of attention for a swish new leather jacket…and buys himself a similar one. All social media uses the same sort of ideas, so there is always some sort of crossover. Google Plus obviously used Facebook as the guideline for their own (re)attempt to establish a strong presence is social media. But if an idea is good, then it is going to get copied…and that is what the Google Plus idea is: a good idea.

Facebook has become an effective stomping ground for hackers and thieves, as Facebook users have been a bit careless with information on the social network. For example, email addresses on profiles and poor easy-to-guess passwords can be like “taking candy from a baby” for even the most basic-skilled hacker out there. Even more foolish were the examples when people posted on their Facebook statuses that they were going on holiday…with their home addresses available to be seen in their profile!
Overall, it is good to see privacy and security on Facebook being put under the microscope and improved. Thank you Google Plus!

Andrew Parker is lead copywriter for leading computer forensics company Intaforensics.

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