You wouldn’t have to worry about privacy issues on Facebook if you didn’t post sensitive, private information on Facebook…such as information that one day can be used against you. And really, you should share only what you consider “professional” information, even with family. Just stop with the nonsense.
At any rate, it’s important to know how to use Facebook’s privacy features, which change from time to time. Here are useful tips.
- Go to Start, then Account, then Privacy Settings, then Edit Your Profile.
- In the Edit Your Profile feature, go through everything there and set things up. There are multiple data fields. To get their drop-down menus, hit the lock on the right of the fields.
- Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline” Set this so your friends can’t make posts that include you that appear on your timeline without your knowledge and/or permission. A friend may tag you in something racist or sexist that makes you look bad by association.
- “Ads and Friends.” Set this so people can’t see which businesses you have friended if you’d like. For example, if you’re Liked a “bondage” shop because it was funny to Like it, it might not be in your best interests that a potential employer sees this.
- “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline” Set this to prevent people from finding your timeline entries when they do Google searches. Theres no reason a private FB needs this setting live.
- “Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public?” Set this to avoid letting a wide audience see your old posts. You may have had a cock tail or two one night and posted something you may regret the next day.
- “Log-in approval” This is big. signing up for this ensures that no one else can easily log into your Facebook account.
- Friends Lists. Click Edit Friends after you click Account. Go to Create a List to categorize your “friends,” such as those from work only or “share everything.”
- To restrict access, you can choose something on your friends lists to narrow the field, such as your created category of “childhood close friends.” Play around with the options. You’ll see an option called Custom, which breaks down to Select Specific People. Be patient and tinker around a bit. If you don’t want your nosy neighbor to see anything, click “Hide this from.”
- Under Privacy Settings is Apps and Websites. Other people’s apps can take your information and post it elsewhere. Go to Apps you Use, and How People Bring Your Info Into Apps They Use. You’ll be able to tell who’s taking information from you. But you can disable this too. If you only want select people to know you have an FB page, turn off the Public Searches function. Then, if someone googles your name, your FB page won’t show in the results.
- The How Tags Work feature controls tags about you on your page only. You’ll see an option called Friends Can Check You Into Places. Turn this off. Otherwise, one of your “friends” could blab personal information about you. (Gee, at this point, it’s easy to understand why some people just don’t have a FB account—including the most social, outgoing people you’ve ever known.)
- To see how your profile looks to visitors, click View As at the top right.
- Click on How You Connect under Privacy Settings. This feature determines/controls who can interact with you and view your posts. Again, play around with this.
- The Block Lists under Privacy Settings will block whomever you please from contacting you.
- Continue spending time in Privacy Settings to further refine your preferences.
Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.