Facebook, Privacy Concerns, Trust and your Business
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We know that if you give out your email address to some unscrupulous companies, you will end up with spam. We know if you buy insurance on-line you will get a sales call. Now, only recently, has the public learned that if you’re a Facebook user with one of Facebook’s mobile applications installed on your iPhone or one of several other smart phones, you have been robbed. Each and every contact stored on your phone is probably now also stored on Facebook’s servers, as was rediscovered by Facebook users this past week.
Whether or not people in your contact list even have Facebook accounts, their names and phone numbers are likely now in Facebook’s possession.
Privacy concerns and your business
Why does it matter? If you are running a business and you had client contacts stored in your phone, and you installed the Facebook mobile application onto your phone, those business contacts could now have their private telephone numbers plastered all over Facebook, whether or not those people even have Facebook accounts. This could be a severe blow to your reputation and the trust you have worked to build with your client base.
Trust is an important asset in the business world.
Given the number of options web users have, you’re actually asking site visitors to do you a favor. And they’re more likely to perform a favor for you if you establish trust on your web site. In 1999, 6% of web users bought something on the world wide web. That number is expected to rise above 60% in 2011. Anybody see a trend?
More and more people use the web to make purchases, comparison shop, find directions to a local business or buy their insurance on the web, the fastest growing marketplace ever. But think about your own web use habits. Would you buy from a company that you did not trust? Most surveyed reply "no".
Does Facebook take your privacy seriously?
This may come as a shock considering how seriously Facebook takes your privacy, but there is probably a clause buried deep within Facebook’s terms and conditions that makes this invasion of your privacy OK on paper, but odds are still pretty good that it’s not OK with you.
How to remove your contacts' phone numbers from your Facebook account:
- Login to Facebook.
- Go to the top right of the screen, click on ACCOUNT.
- Click on EDIT FRIENDS.
- On the left side of screen and click CONTACTS. Here you will see all phone numbers from your cell phone (FB friends or not) are published that you have stored in your mobile phone.
- TO REMOVE, go to the right column, click on "this page".
- To reduce the chances of this happening again, you'll have to disable contact-sync in Facebook’s mobile app if it’s enabled — and click the Remove button. Many users are sending apology letters to their clients to let them know what happened and that their private telephone information was compromised.
How could Facebook do this?
Many users note that Facebook’s mobile apps now carry disclaimers that mention the fact that Facebook is taking your data. Of course Facebook does currently include a disclaimer, though the wording makes no mention of this data being stored on its servers. Even still, this has not been the case with all versions of the app, and there are also numerous reports from users who claim to have never synchronized their contacts with Facebook’s mobile apps, yet still find all of their contact data stored on Facebook’s servers.
Perception is reality in business.
Perception is reality in the business world, and if your web site visitors perceive that your web site has integrity, and your delivery of services or products demonstrates that you’re a trustworthy businessperson, you will see more and more repeat sales – even if you lose money on a return on that first sale.
Build trust on the web with site visitors and you will build business with site visitors. It does not get any simpler than that.
Build trust on your web site with green hosting.
Today more and more companies are finding that their customers judge the overall quality of their brand based on their response and policies regarding the environment. Promoting your green site enhances customer appeal and helps increase traffic to your site. One way to adopt an eco-policy is to choose green hosting for your web site.