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Facebook May Use Your Friends’ Information To Judge Your Credibility

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Facebook May Use Your Friends’ Information To Judge Your Credibility

Facebook’s main purpose for a lot of us is for us to coordinate with current friends, coworkers, and family, or to reconnect with old friends from way back. However, it may be much more than that in the foreseeable future.

A patent secured earlier in August may allow the social networking giant to help lenders in determining a user’s creditworthiness by tapping into your friends’ Facebook details and information.

How Does This Patent Work?

The patent suggests that lenders may be able to view the FICO credit score of your Facebook contacts to see if you are indeed credible enough when applying for a loan. Your friends’ credit rating on an average, per the patent, would need to be at least the minimum credit score to justify a loan being approved.

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Therefore, with the assumption that you would need a FICO score of 640 or more to qualify for a loan, and that your friends’ average credit score would be at 638, that would mean you would not be able to qualify for the loan.

Pros and Cons of This Patent

Assuming Facebook follows through and uses this approved patent to help lenders ascertain creditworthiness, it will not be the first company to use the invention to determine whether a person is a high-risk or a low-risk customer. It could be a boon for alternative lending as a whole, for consumers looking for another way to be approved.

Nevertheless, there are also several drawbacks to such an arrangement.

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One risk a few publications have pointed out is the chance of predatory lenders convincing people to make use of the technology if and when it sees the light of day. If all it takes is to consider the average of a person’s friends’ FICO score, it could open things up for otherwise non-creditworthy individuals who happen to have many friends with good to great credit.

Moreover, if lenders make use of any Facebook feature that involves the use of the patent, and allow it to cover business owners trying to take out a conventional loan, that could make it even harder for them to do so, hard enough as it is at the present.

But The Patent Draws Controversy

Considering all the ongoing talk about privacy breaches and cyber-hacking endeavors, it is not surprising that this patent has not been a very popular one in the tech press, and among consumers. After all, it would arguably be unfair if one cannot secure a loan, even with their pristine credit, if many of their friends happen to have bad credit.

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In addition, it would not be in good form to unfriend a contact in an attempt to boost the chances of your loan being approved.

Fortunately, Facebook has yet to confirm how it plans to use its patent, and there are existing laws that govern how lenders determine whether you are creditworthy or not. However, the fact that the Menlo Park Company would even consider such a thing has proven to be very uncomfortable and worrying for many consumers.

There are a lot of positive and negative aspects of Facebook judging our credibility. The basics pros are presented in simplifying the tasks for institutions such as banks and companies. Some people have nothing against it, as they see it as an important precaution of identity theft.

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Others see it as an an invasion of personal privacy. Facebook already uses its users interests to collect data which is then delivered to advertising companies, that’s why we see only those commercials that are related to our personal interests and hobbies.

If Facebook checks not only our profile but our friends to judge our credibility, though, then it will invade not only our privacy but the privacy of our friends.

Featured photo credit: https://picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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