Yes, most of us complain about all the seemingly unnecessary changes that Facebook initiates far more often than we’d like (just about the time we figure out how to navigate everything)… but it’s good to remember that Facebook is a free service. Of course some will argue that nothing is really ‘free’, but at least +140 million active avast! Community members know differently. ;)
Some of you will remember the days of Rolodex. Mine was typically overfilled with business cards and scraps of paper – taped, glued, or even stapled in place. Sometimes a few ‘creative’ oversized business cards or paper scraps would clog up the ‘machine’, and maintaining changes to phone numbers, addresses, and job titles was always a major problem.
So Facebook, for me, was a welcome change. All my contacts keep their own info updated, and I can find them at any time via the search box. And my Facebook account serves 4 key purposes:
- keeps me connected to family, friends, and old classmates (especially as now I live on a different continent than where I lived my first 33 years);
- allows me to keep up with people and developments in the creative fields I am most interested in (i.e. writing/publishing, music, visual arts, and creative fields such as marketing/PR and social media);
- provides me top or breaking news stories that people have read and recommended, many of which are marginalized by mainstream media and so I would not see them elsewhere;
- has led to many instances of cross-pollination (and thus better relationships) with several of my purely professional contacts on my LinkedIn page.
The increase in advertising on Facebook bothered me when it began a few years ago, but I’ve learned to tune it out. To me, the only problems Facebook has now – aside from major layout changes that occur too frequently and seem to limit user settings – are security vulnerabilities (many of which, however, are what I’d call a lack in good judgment by average PC users who just don’t know any better). In the past two weeks, I’ve seen two significant reports regarding the problem of Facebook security:
- 28 October 2011 – a Mashable article titled “Facebook Says 600,000 Accounts Compromised Per Day” reports on a Facebook estimate that more than half a million log-ins are compromised daily, and discusses ‘fixes’ the social network is working on to ensure users access to their own accounts (should a breach and stolen/changed passwords occur).
Spoil yourself; be free
Working for AVAST, I’m a little spoiled. As part of our jobs is to really know our products and what they do, I often click links I know are probably harmful. In other words, I can afford to be curious because I know my antivirus takes care of me and will block just about anything I throw at it. But the numbers in the above reports (600,000 accounts per DAY!!!) tell me that a lot of people, when it comes to web surfing, are riding the high waves at midnight with open wounds in shark-infested waters. In a new business era when free antivirus solutions outperform many well-known paid-for products… there is no excuse for such recklessness.
Give Facebook a pat on the back for trying their best to keep the sharks away, but also remember that friends don’t let friends surf stupidly. Here you can see how avast! Free Antivirus stands up against many of our competitors’ paid-for products in independent tests. Educate yourself, educate others – and help your friends, parents, siblings, grandparents, or babysitter download/install at very least some free antivirus protection.