Wednesday, December 3, 2014


There was a time when the only way we could communicate with our children studying abroad was via post (painfully slow) or by phone (painfully expensive). Then came the advent of social media applications like Skype(Aug 2003)  and Facebook (Feb 2004). Now getting connected online has become so much easier and practically free. And with more people using smart phones, we can get connected without the need to have a pc or a tablet. WhatsApp (June 2009) and Facetime (June 2010) lead the field in applications for smart phone users to get connected. Many of these applications can be downloaded for free or for a token fee.

These figures are for the US, but are indicative of a worldwide trend of more seniors going online, with Facebook as their favorite social media platform. Click here for more data from Pew Research Centre.

Words like Skype and WhatsApp have become part of our vocabulary as in "I'll skype you later when I get back", or "Can you whatsapp me the photos?" Seniors are going online in droves to enjoy the convenience of getting in touch with family and friends instantly, and sharing photos, videos and news. 

While all this is good news for seniors, it is important for us to know how to protect our privacy, especially on Facebook, which is by far the favourite social media application with seniors.  

Of particular concern to us is who can view our personal data, our photos and our postings. Also, what does Facebook do with all the info it collects from us? How can we use the settings to control who sees what on our FB page? These are some of the many questions and concerns that FB users have, and also the reason why non-FB users are hesitant to sign up for an account.

While Facebook has its privacy policy spelt out to all account holders, not everyone bothers or has the patience to read pages of fine print written in legalese or technical lingo.

So it is welcome news that FB has simplified the privacy policy in language that we can understand. It is easier now to learn how to use settings to control access to our FB page content and to protect our personal data. 

That's right - WE are in charge. Click here to go to the page.

Questions that we have been asking and seeking answers to. Click here to go to the page.

And if you want an answer quickly, Facebook has its own FB page where Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan will provide the infomation you are seeking.

Click here to go to the page
One more thing - we must be careful who we accept as friends on Facebook. We are not in the running for Who has the highest number of FB friends. It's perfectly ok to ignore a friend request, more so if it's from a total stranger who has no mutal friends with us.


No comments: