Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 1:53pm

Facebook vs. CTRL+SHIFT+DEL

Posted by Jordan Erickson

Facebook vs. CTRL+SHIFT+DELI have gotten into a best-practices ‘routine’ while logging into and out of Facebook.

A routine is part of any healthy Internet surfing session. They help remind you of your overall goals, and what you need to do to achieve them. With Facebook, my goals are to not have them gain information about me that I don’t specifically disclose. I wouldn’t say that’s such a bad goal, I mean, there’s no real purpose for them to gather and harvest every bit of information about you anyway, is there?

My routine with logging into and out of Facebook is simple. For instance, when logging in, I do the following:

0) Make sure I’m using Firefox (I’m just weird that way)

1) Close any browser tabs I’m not using anymore

2) Make sure I only visit sites I wouldn’t mind Facebook knowing I visit. Due to the way Facebook uses cookies, every website you visit while you’re logged into Facebook that has a ‘Like’ button reports back to Facebook your User ID, whether you’ve clicked on it or not.

3) I don’t go on a “Like” spree – there’s no real purpose that I can think of to click the ‘Like’ button on every single thing you think you’d want your friends to know that you like. Doesn’t it seem that when you do that, you never really visit that page again? Doesn’t it seem that most pages just blurt out useless information, cluttering your news feed anyway? If I ‘Liked’ something and want to unsubscribe to their feed, I might as well have not ‘Liked’ them in the first place.

4) Same as #3, but applying generally to Facebook. I don’t go populating every informational field I can just for the fun of doing it. I mean, I don’t have anything to hide, but for some odd reason I think that posting my physical address, birthday and phone numbers is kind of silly. Might as well have a “SSN” field in there for good measure! 😉

Logging OUT of Facebook is kind of like a weight being lifted off of my browser’s shoulders. I feel a bit better whenever I do. Of course, even after you log out of Facebook, their cookies supposedly track your every move. So I had to develop a routine for after I log out. It’s pretty simple, and remembering the first few times is the hardest part. Afterwords, you’ll forget you even do it every time you log out. And, of course, you won’t be broadcasting everything you do online to Facebook (which, IMHO, isn’t such a horrible thing to be concerned about – even if you have nothing to hide).

1) Log out of Facebook

2) Hit the CTRL+SHIFT+DEL key combination in Firefox to bring up the “Clear Recent History” window.

3) Make sure “Cookies” checkbox is checked, and click on “Clear Now”.

4) Smile.

This simple routine has made me that much happier about using Facebook. With all of the security and privacy concerns surrounding the social networking giant, I have employed these little tricks so I can still keep in contact with people I know and love, while still feeling good about protecting my identity and privacy from possibly less-than-honest folks. I hope it helps you to feel a bit better, too. After getting used to these few steps, you’ll be sure to feel a bit more in control of how your personal information is gathered and handled by third parties.

© 2011 Logical Networking Solutions: I.T. and Networking Specialist, Lake County, CA