Protect Yourself with Facebook Privacy Settings

28 10 2010

Many members of Facebook are wary to use Facebook regularly (e.g., adding information, posting, and uploading photos), and many others are afraid to even set up a profile.  There is much concern, and it is justified, about privacy and security.  Facebook has made a strong effort to provide you with more options than before with selecting your Privacy and Account Settings.  For this entry, we will discuss Privacy Settings, and tackle Account Settings at another time.

Privacy Settings control what you share with whom in Facebook.

There are nine (9) different categories of information:

  1. My status, photos and posts
  2. Bio and favorite quotations
  3. Family and relationships
  4. Photos and videos I’m tagged in
  5. Religious and political views
  6. Birthday
  7. Can comment on posts
  8. Places I check in
  9. Contact information

You have five (5) options – to share with Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, Recommended (Facebook’s recommended settings), and Custom.

I recommend that you select “Custom”, and determine settings for each of the 9 categories above.

To get to Privacy Settings, click on “Account” on the far right top of the page, and click on “Privacy Settings”, and the page will open.

In addition to the Sharing function, you should also click on Basic Directory Information, Applications and Websites and Block Lists to select your settings for each.

Basic Directory determines what information is visible when one searches for you.

Applications and Websites determines how you use applications and games, and Public Search – what is visible when someone searches for you using an outside search engine.

Block Lists allows you to block others from interacting with you, as well as sending you application or event invites.

Facebook Privacy Settings are complicated, but so important to protect your identity and determine how you want to interact with the Facebook community.  I encourage you to take the time to go through each setting to understand what it is, and how you want it to work for you.

You can always change your settings if you find them too open or too restrictive. It is also a good idea to regularly check your settings as Facebook often changes its functionality and its defaults.

Click on the Facebook Tip for Today Category on the right side of the page to view other Facebook tips.




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