Following in the footsteps of its competitors, Facebook is now offering personalized URLs for its users. But a media expert has suggested that organizations, celebrities and politicians better claim theirs early, or else battle it out with cyber squatters looking to make a quick buck.
"Generally speaking the best defense against cybersquatting and/or potential malicious use of a famous name is to register accounts in your company's name on new social media sites as soon as they emerge," says Susan Jacobson, of Temple University's journalism department.
"Waiting for a service to catch on or to become newsworthy is waiting too long. Cybersquatters will start registering names as soon as they become aware of a new service. While it is possible to get your name back, it will take some time and could be costly," she adds.
Jaconson points out that the same problems were observed during the early days of the Internet: regular citizens would rush to buy domain names, and then sell them to celebrities for millions of dollars.
She thinks that famous name Facebook users are going to be interested in the vanity URLs because it will make it easier for non-Facebook users to find them.
According to her, those Facebook users who restrict access to their information may find it more convenient for their friends to connect to them with the vanity URLs, but their friends will still have to log in to see their restricted information.