The company formerly known as Reputation Defender, now called Reputation.com, launched something that sounds pretty fancy From a technology standpoint but might be excessive in practice: encryption for Facebook postings.
I needed to see a demonstration of the product to convince me that it secures all of your postings on Facebook, and you can see it in video format by clicking here. I found the tool easier to use in Firefox Than Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari — actually I couldn’t even get it to work at all in the latter three, but maybe I missed a step, and I’m using a PC. It’s entirely possible that Apple machines would have an entirely different experience of the software. Also, this discrepancy could be due to the newness of the application and may get worked out soon.
To get started, download the free application from the web address UProtect. It and follow the directions for installation. The process includes a window that brings up the names of all of your Facebook contacts and asks you which ones to grant access to your content — the default option grants permission to everyone on your friend list. log on to Facebook, you just can’t miss the orange branding at the top of the screen.
The application puts orange buttons labeled “comment protected” next to whichever field that you seem likeliest to type something in — I only saw one of the uProtect.It buttons on the screen at any given time.
When I commented in a data field that initially didn’t have a “comment protected” widget nearby, hitting return caused orange iconography to appear. The image below shows what happened after I typed in a status update with the uProtect.It loaded on the page.
I found the application’s wording of my status awkward, and apparently so did my friends, some of whom posted replies asking whether it was safe to click on the link where the decoded post could be found. I think the confusion could have been avoided with a more straightforward message like: “Jackie Cohen posted an encrypted status update with uProtect.It. Click here to read it and find out how to encrypt your postings on Facebook.”
People’s confusion over my status update made me wonder whether I need to bother with an encryption tool on Facebook when the privacy settings already do a lot of the work. I don’t post anything on the site that needs to be encrypted, as you can see in the screenshot of my decoded status update below.
I noticed that UProtect.It slowed down the performance of Facebook, making every page take more time to download. The sluggishness of the application combined with the fact that I already make good use of the privacy settings on the site means I’ll probably uninstall this tool.
What do you think about the possibility of encrypting your content on Facebook? When might that amount of security make sense?