Ivan wants to know what he's giving away when he logs into a site using his Facebook ID. Leo says that's called Single Sign-on, which makes it easier to sign in. Many services, including Google and Twitter also offer it as a convenience. It's a user verification system that doesn't require him to create an account, nor does it give them access to his account. But it gives Facebook, Google, and Twitter access to more information about where he visits. It's safe to use it, but if he's concerned, he can create a dummy account that he'll only use for that purpose.
Justin Rosenstein, the man who created the Like button for Facebook, is now saying that it has become too addictive. He's blocked his own use of Reddit, Snapchat, and has imposed limits upon himself for Facebook. He even instructed his assistant to set up a parental-control feature to prevent him from downloading any apps. He fears a smartphone dystopia, and says that "our minds can be hijacked."
Facebook's top security officer says that it's really hard to keep bad guys off their site. Testifying before Congress, he said that buying so-called dark ads is hard to stop. Leo says that's because they're willing to pay for it. Leo adds that Facebook really needs to do eliminate dark ads completely and have every ad be seen in the light of day so we know who's buying the ads. But Facebook doesn't want to do that.
Mark is looking for an alternative to Facebook. Leo says that he's quit Facebook once and he thinks they're very manipulative in how they manage his feed. So he understands why he would want to leave. He's also noticed that the more time he spends on social media, the worse he feels. It's a time suck. For photo sharing, Flickr is a good site, as is 500PX.com is another. Instagram has a lot of the best of Facebook, but it's owned by Facebook. Think of it as "Facebook lite."
Myrna got locked out of Facebook when she had to reset her account due to malware. Leo says that's Facebook's latest technique for protecting the social network against malware. But like all antivirus utilities, there sometimes can be false positives that can trigger the lockdown. Myrna even ran her own scan with ESET. Leo says that's why he doesn't like antivirus software.
Facebook's Safety Check feature is a good way to tell your friends and family that you're alright if you're in the midst of a disaster like Hurricane Harvey. You can find the Safety Check in the "Explore" section of the mobile app. You can get to it by tapping the hamburger menu on the bottom right corner. Once you tap into Safety Check, you'll see the current Safety Checks around the world or you can create a Safety Check. Then you can see people that are marked safe, and mark yourself safe if you're in an affected area.
Jane wants to know if it's WhatApp or WhatsApp. Leo says there's an "S," so it's WhatsApp. A clever way of saying "what's up?"
Jane is thinking of getting her first smart phone so she can use WhatsApp to make phone calls. Leo says that WhatsApp identifies users by their phone numbers, not their names. So when people ask to use WhatsApp to make a call, that means they want not only their phone number, but also their contact list. Facebook is doing that to cross reference contacts with Facebook contacts, but you can opt out of it when you sign up.
Susan is worried that her boss at work can see her Facebook posts so she's changed her settings to friends only. Is that safe enough? Leo says that will work, however, Facebook does make mistakes and they do from time to time reset privacy settings without warning. Even Mark Zuckerberg's personal posts were outed by a glitch a few months back. So it's best to always consider a post she makes on social media to be out in the open.
See wants to create an online dating site, but is low on cash. Leo says that See could probably find someone who would be able to build the site for a piece of the pie. The problem is that he could end up with a situation like the Winklevoss Twins, who teamed up with Mark Zuckerberg, who then took the idea for Facebook and made it work without them. Ideas are really a dime a dozen, and most venture capitalists invest in the business plan, the people behind it, and not the idea itself.
Paul can't get into his business Facebook account and he doesn't know how he can get help with Facebook. Leo says that all he can do is contact Facebook. Paul should check out this help page at facebook.com for more.