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Dumping Friends on Facebook Helps Make You Secure

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Credit: Courtesy of Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features

Arizona State University researcher Pritam Gundecha has developed a method for determining which Facebook friends are most likely to leak private information.

Gundecha studied the relative importance of data that 2 million Facebook users choose to share publicly and calculated the privacy risks that friends pose to each other. Gundecha found that about 80 percent of users share their gender, but less than 1 percent share their home address, suggesting that people publicizing their address are not the most privacy-conscious users.

Gundecha used the statistics to determine a vulnerability score for each user, and was able to show that unfriending the least discreet friend can increase a user's security by more than 5 percent. Unfriending people based on how vulnerable they make you is an intriguing take on the problem, says University of Maryland researcher Randy Baden.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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