Facebook just launched “Places”. It allows Facebook users who have a SmartPhone (for the most part) to share their location with friends, find out where their friends are (if they’re using Places), and discover new places.
For those of you using Foursquare, Places is similar, but different. Places isn’t concerned about checking-in to a coffee shop the most in order to become mayor and earn the coveted free espresso; it’s concerned with providing an interface for users to share Places they discover.
Read Mashable’s full write-up on Places here.
But Beware: As a Places user, you can add places, check in to places that already exist, and tag people who are with you.
Let’s say you’re out at Hessen Haus for lunch with co-workers and someone decides to order a Boot. You run the risk of your boss knowing where you were, who you were with and what you may have done before going back to work for the afternoon. All it takes is for one person within your group to share their location with Facebook Places and “tag” you. Your location will show up on your Facebook Wall without you doing a thing.
Here’s how to change your Facebook privacy settings to ensure that this doesn’t happen:
- Log in to your Facebook Account
- Click on the arrow next to “Account” and choose “Privacy Settings”
- Click “Customize Settings”
- “Disable” Include me in “People Here Now” after I check in
- “Disable” Friends can check me in to places
Here’s something I do to stay on top of these types of issues: I’ve got a reminder on my Outlook calendar that pops up monthly that tells me to check the privacy settings on all of my social media accounts. These sites change what’s “private” and what’s “public” on a whim.