As Valentine’s Day is Thursday, many are taking a look at how Facebook users share intimate details through the social network. A new study by Abine shows that many people aren’t shy about posting information such as relationship status and sexual orientation.
In a study of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, 50 percent said they post about their love lives on Facebook, compared with 37 percent who do so on other social media sites.
Additionally, of those who post about their love lives, the most common thing to share is relationship status (80 percent of those polled). Roughly 62 percent of those surveyed said they posted to Facebook with whom they’re in a relationship, and 60 percent posted pictures with that person. Roughly one-third of people shared their sexual orientation on Facebook.
The survey also revealed that 60 percent of people polled said they had accepted friend or follow (on Twitter) requests from those they didn’t know well, opening up the chance that strangers are reading details about their love life.
More than 60 percent of people said they took steps to block or unfriend exes. About one-half of the survey’s respondents untagged themselves from photos with their exes.
Also, 17.8 percent said they have either posted provocative pictures of themselves online, or details of romantic encounters, even though more than 60 percent noted that they’re not confident in the privacy settings found on social media sites.
Sarah Downey, privacy analyst for Abine, discussed the findings in a press release:
A lot of people don’t consider the consequences of posting the details of their love lives online until it’s too late. Only one in 10 people report being less concerned about the privacy of their love lives today than one year ago. The good news is that there are some basic things people can do to keep those private details private.
Abine recommends that users make sure that they keep login information to themselves, and make sure their privacy settings are just the way they want them. Privacy settings on Facebook and other social media sites can change rapidly, so users should keep themselves informed. Additionally, if users are not confident in their profiles’ privacy, they should not share what they wouldn’t want others to see.
Readers: How often do you post about your significant other on Facebook?
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