Are we in for more then we bargained for when it comes to Facebook? The social network site orginally intended for college students has evolved to become a way of connecting with anyone and everyone. Its wonderful to connect with new and old friends but are we being taken advantage of?  Facebook has launched some new features that should have us all a little concerned. These new features, however impressive, are bordering the line of excessive and invasive.

For one, there is now a way to “like” a website without actually logging in to your Facebook account. This feature will let any website you visit display a simple “like” button that be posted on your Facebook wall to show all your Facebook friends that you liked that story. Then in turn will show you  in the same box how many of your friends also liked that story. Now, this doesn’t necessarily seem so bad. Right? You decide. Do you think it’s odd that sites will be able to do this with out you having to log in with a user name and password? You also don’t even have to click any Facebook Connect buttons in order for this to happen. Literally, all that is required is that you have signed in to Facebook at some point in time before visiting the site.

Another feature to question is instant personalization. This feature allows sites to  show you personalized content based on the details of your profile on Facebook. Okay, again not so bad, yet. These sites will be able to read and interpret your profile without asking for your permission. The scariest part about this nicely named feature is that you opt-in by default. This means that if you DON’T want to have your profile read and have services customized for you without your permission, you have to specifically turn this off.

How can you avoid these new features? Well, there is the obvious, which consquently is very hard to do, delete your account. You can deactivate your account by going to your settings and clicking down at the bottom  “deactivate.” Here’s where they get you. By deactivating your account you are simply hiding it. Facebook explains all of this on its help pages. If you want to actually delete your account, there is information on the help page as well. Facebook makes it awfully difficult to leave.

For all you who don’t want to cancel your account. There are some things you can do to prevent these features from affecting you.

Turn off instant personlization by going to your privacy settings, applications and websites then click instant personalization and edit this setting. Doing this will prevent Facebook from sharing your information to sites to customize content based on your profile.

So, far there are only three sites who are able to utilize the instant personalization.These sites are Pandora, Yelp and If you want to make sure that these applications are blocked so that no information is to be shared by either you or you friends (who can share your information with sites) then you have to individually block each and every one of those applications. For now just those three sites.

Finally, don’t click the “like” button or any word resembling this word on websites. This will enable sites to send updates to your news feed or share information to your friends.

Lesson learned here is to explore your privacy settings and understand what Facebook is “allowed” to do based on its terms. Be in control of your information.

Information regarding this article and other helpful ways to control your account click on this link: