Should I use a separate browser to use Facebook securely?

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Nik Cubrilovic: Facebook with two browsers

There has been a lot of media attention on social networking website Facebook over the last few weeks due to upcoming new features like ‘Timeline’ and ‘frictionless sharing’ the website is suggesting will be rolled out globally.

The Australian blogger Nik Cubrilovic has also exposed privacy issues around Facebook’s use of persistent user cookies which act as ‘beacons’ when you surf around the web and allow the site to identify you to third party websites and possibly gather data on your activities, despite being logged out.

NetSafe has not examined the in’s and out’s of these accusations in great depth, but the general principles behind cookies and user logins combined with Facebook ‘social plugins’ embedded on other websites could aid both third party app developers using instant personalisation tools and the service itself with security.

How can I ensure my privacy when using Facebook?

There are general common sense rules to sharing information on any online site and Facebook has provided guidance in the past to privacy and security best practice.

If you are concerned about recent media stories then consider enabling private or incognito browsing and regularly clearing your cookies.

Nik Cubrolivic has gone further with this by suggesting that anyone worried about Facebook tracking should use two browsers, one dedicated only to Facebook use and install third party plugins or extensions that enable you to block or disable certain features on the site.

Read his how-to guide to Facebook privacy and let us know your thoughts on the upcoming Facebook changes and your concerns over internet privacy in the comments.

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