Facebook: How Privacy Settings Can Work in Your Favor

As technology advances, it becomes increasingly easy to contact or check up on others. Many people are guilty of “Facebook Creeping,” checking up on exes, old acquaintances, or employees. For everyone you check up on, imagine how many are looking at your information. What does the information you publicly display say about you? Luckily, current settings on the social networking site make privatizing information simple. Here are some ideas and features to help keep your information safe, whether it be from strangers or people on your friends list.

Don’t put vital personal information online.

If someone took what you posted online and put it on a bulletin board, how secure would you feel? Information like your Social Security number, credit or debit card number, or passwords to websites should never be posted. Also, be very cautious about posting your personal address or phone number. If you do post this information, be sure that your profile is set so that anyone who is not on your friends list cannot see it. If anyone can access your phone or address, they can contact you, sign you up for calling or mailing lists, or set up accounts with your information.

Block as much content from non-friends as possible.

If you don’t want people who aren’t your friends seeing your information, photos, birthday, etc., make it private. The less information you put out for strangers, the better you are. You might think that this will make you harder to find to old friends and classmates, but Facebook makes finding someone extremely easy, especially if you have mutual friends. Unless you’re a John Smith or Jane Doe, don’t give it too much thought. When it comes to websites of stores or businesses, only trust those you know or those that have established names in the market like https://takethecoupon.com/, With this, you will be able to protect yourself from any scam or phishing activities.

To change your privacy settings, go to Account in the top right corner. Click and select Privacy Settings from the drop down menu. When you get to the Privacy Settings page, choose to Customize. You’ll see that you can choose who can see all of your information, from your Posts to Pictures.

Be safe about Check-Ins

While you’re on the Privacy Settings page, you can set your Check-In settings. Facebook Places is a pretty cool device that shows where friends check in. So if I go to a pizzeria, I can use my mobile device to tell friends where I am at. This is fun, but it could lead to safety concerns. Checking in says, “Hey, I’m not at my house right now,” which could incite burglars to pay you a visit.

Also, some people feel that it’s a good idea to add their private residences to Facebook Places. Users can report to Facebook if a place is not a public site, but that doesn’t deter people from putting their addresses on the 100% public map of Places. Never list your home. It’s really not necessary to check yourself in and out every time you run to the post office or come home from work.

Create lists to hide content from certain friends.

Let’s say, as an example, you have a variety of people as Facebook friends: coworkers, family, friends, old college buddies, etc. Sometimes, you might want to post something that’s not quite right for everyone. Making lists will help you hide certain content from certain groups.

Let’s say you don’t want your mom to see pictures from that office Christmas party or you’re writing a post about a surprise birthday party for Grammy. Go back to the Account tab, but this time hit Edit Friends. All your friends will come up. Over to the right of each name, you’ll see an X. Scroll just left of that X and you’ll get an option to add that friend to a group. After you’ve sorted your friends, you can choose to deny them access to an album when you post pictures or even to a Wall post.

To censor a Wall Post, write your message. Under the post, click on the padlock icon. Choose Customize. You can either choose who you want to see the post, or who you don’t want to see it. Make sure you choose the correct option. You can choose individuals or groups by simply typing in the first few letters of a name or group title.

To censor a photo album, go to your photos and choose the album you would like to work with. At the top of the page, choose Edit Album. Click the privacy setting and you’ll see a page just like before. Choose who you would like to see or not see your photos and save your settings.

Clean up your profile now and then.

It never hurts to go back through your information, pages, groups, and friends to do some housekeeping. Every few months, skim through things you, “liked,” and make sure they’re still relevant. What you mark tells people a disturbing amount about your character. After you graduate and go job hunting, especially make sure you take a look at information you’ve posted. If you’re no longer speaking to someone, remove them from your friends list. Removing content is as easy as clicking the X button. To un-like a page, go to that page and find Unlike on the left side. Go to a group’s page and find Leave Group on the right side.

If you have a very diverse field of content, consider a second profile.

If you use your profile for work, advertising yourself, networking, etc., consider making a second account for personal use. Many people do this to keep their interests separate. To create two accounts, you will need two email addresses, but it may be well worth it if 500 of your friends are specifically work related. This means that it will be more simple to post relevant content to different groups.

Remember, the more dependent we become on technology, the more valuable the information we post becomes. If you post a picture online, even if it’s private and watermarked, it might end up copied-and-pasted somewhere against your wishes. If you say something about a friend, they’re probably going to hear about it. Be careful what is posted, check back often, and stay safe online.