To start on thread - Facebook is what it is, you can keep it relatively innocuous with some diligence on your part but I'm always upset when they change their system and revert your privacy preferences to their liking or add a new feature that allows them to harvest and share info without notifying you. Adding VF as a facebook group might increase exposure but I'm on the wall on joining, I join few groups and VF is redundant for me.
Now off thread
There is a healthy level of paranoia though, many people need a larger dose, some have overdosed.
I always laugh about the people who spout off how they would never buy anything over the Internet but think nothing of placing a telephone order and giving a credit card number while talking on their cordless phone ...... really?
Like many of you I'm aware that money is being made off the information I share. I'm not always happy about it but I've consciously chosen to share what I do to keep the development of these free services moving forward. I'm pretty pro-active educating myself on info harvesting and whenever I see somebody else's computer I tend to educate them on the purpose of those half dozen toolbars, games and useless programs that have been installed, often because they didn't read things and just clicked OK. "Do you use this?" The answer is usually "no it just appeared one day", so I end up uninstalling no sense sharing info if you do not use the service. Many times I can show them they already had those services if they had added something for a perceived reason or steer them to a better solution. The bonus is "Gee my internet is faster and it doesn't crash every 30 minutes"
Androids, iPhones, or any smart phone are particularly scary with the abilities they have to track you but they offer amazing conveniences and what I can see coming in the very near future is even more exciting. At this point I have my Android set pretty much wide open but I do
study the accesses any App is requesting and if it seems more then I feel is justified I look for a similar app and most often find one with reasonable requests. When I find an App opening by itself I question why? Does it have to load automatically? Is it set it to update info in the background? Do I need it to for my usage? Can I turn that off? If not the uninstall button is a click away and I use it
. The last app I was surprisingly compelled to pfffftt.. was a Bible program that opened on phone calls, texts or internet sessions .... sorry .... who needs to know in your business already knows. I don't know why I found that surprising today, but not even my Congress & Constitution apps do that and I'd expect Politicians & Government to be intrusive.
On the other hand when I find a free app particularly useful I will click the advertisements now and then and click through to a second page, if it gives the Developer a couple cents that's a small price, it's not like I had to read the pages and Google hasn't started selling access through their spam filters like some (shhhh... don't tell them).