OPINION | Timeline is a lesson for security

Facebook’s new Timeline layout will soon be every user’s default, and it will be like all other layout updates – a big pain.

It will be annoying, confusing and frustrating.  Facebook pages will be made to protest it which will like all the protest pages before it, be useless.

The new layout presents issues that have Facebook users worried and techie bloggers in an uproar.

A new series of security issues have come up since the Timeline layout was first presented by Facebook in late 2011.

Butler University students need to learn from these security issues and take into account the dangers of carelessly posting information online.

Facebook has sent some users warnings to “clean up” their profile within seven days before the Timeline layout goes into effect.

In other words Facebook is saying to take down that picture somebody took of you shotgunning a beer last weekend, or that nasty post you made the other day.  Employers can and will find these things and, when they do, best of luck finding a job.

The Timeline layout is designed with pictures as the main focus, blown up on users’ walls, and the ability to look at your entire Facebook history just a click away.

Now, Facebook users have to worry not just about the pictures and posts that have been put up recently but items that were put online years ago.

Jordan Murphy, a freshman computer engineering and computer science major and IT Helpdesk technician, does not use Facebook because of the security risks.

“Facebook takes so much of your information.,” Murphy said, “People put their lives on Facebook, and they have that information, and people can find it.  I’ve also heard of companies hiring other companies to look into potential employees’ Facebook accounts and other online information.  They can get a hold of nearly anything that is put online.”

Regardless of what Facebook has or has yet to do with user information, Butler students would be wise to double-and triple-check their privacy settings on sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Students should be careful of what they post and what pictures are on their accounts.

The whole Facebook phenomenon and the numerous incidents that have happened as a result should be a lesson for everyone that uses the Internet.  Do not post anything that a grandparent should not see, and always act like an employer is watching when online.

Nobody wants to be the person who loses their job or gets kicked out of school because of something they posted on Facebook.

Online, nothing is truly safe, nothing is truly private and we are all vulnerable.


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