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."
Richard has an old Alcatel phone that lets him post to Twitter, while his LG phone won't. Rich says to try uninstalling the app, then reinstalling it. He should also uninstall any apps he doesn't need. Lastly, he should try HTC Boost Plus. It's an app that scans the phone for junk files and deletes them.
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.
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.
Rene has another iGen teen and she says her son wants to be social, but his friends don't want to come outside. Rene keeps communication open with her son, making sure he always feels understood and can come talk to her. It's best to stay connected.
Studies show that post millennials, dubbed the iGeneration, are safer because they tend to spend more time at home and online. But they're not working, not going out, and frankly, they're more depressed and isolated. They're not hanging out with friends. They're dating at a later age. They're driving at a later age. And they're more likely to feel lonely. They also get less sleep as they stay up late at night. You can see more about the study in Atlantic Magazine.