Facebook has finally introduced privacy warnings for new users

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Facebook has updated its default privacy settings in apparent recognition of users’ unease at the increasingly open nature of the social network. From now on, new users will see a dialogue box prompting them to choose whether they want to share their first post with “friends” or the “public”. If they make no choice, the default audience will be set to “friends”, whereas previously it would have been available to see by all.

Do you know who can see what you are posting on Facebook, including your photos, birthday and personal cellphone number? Chances are that you don’t. Facebook is worried that you will start sharing less — or maybe even move to more anonymous services — unless it helps you better manage your private information. On Thursday, the company announced that it would give a privacy checkup to every one of its 1.28 billion users worldwide, conducted by a cartoon dinosaur. Facebook, which is based in Menlo Park, Calif., will also change how it treats new users by initially setting their posts to be seen only by friends. Previously, those posts were accessible to anyone. And it will explain to both current and new users that setting their privacy to “public” means that anyone can see their photos and posts.

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