10 Privacy Settings for Facebook Users

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Everyone has heard those stories about people getting fired, secrets coming out and ultimately people finding out things that others don't want them to know. This can be considered news on various levels; a great deal of these stories happen because of Facebook. If you want to protect yourself from becoming unwanted news, here are some privacy tips to take into consideration.


Step 1: Understand Your Friend Lists
You are now able to group your friends and control their individual privacy settings. It's also possible to group a friend in more than one group like family, friends, co-workers and more. This is handy for controlling who sees what on your profile. For those whom are placed in two different groups, the one with the most restrictive privacy settings will be enforced for that person.
Step 2: Remove Yourself from Search
This is handy for professionals and teachers who don't want students and collegues in their personal lives but is not limited to just them. If you do not want to be found in a search, simply visit the FB privacy settings page, click on "edit settings", enter your password and next to "Facebook Search Results" select the "only friends" setting.
Step 3: Remove Yourself from Google
Some users like the attention of being more public about their things, if you aren't then I would advise removing yourself from Google index and search engines. This can be done by visiting the search privacy settings page and simple uncheck the box next to "Public Search Results" which says "allow indexing".
Step 4: Avoid the Infamous Photo Tag Mistake
Head back to privacy page, go to the section "Photos and Videos of Me", click on the drop down selector, click on the "custom" option and then select "only me". This will prevent any pictures from mistakenly ruining your rep.
Step 5: Protect Your Albums
If you want to limit access on your personal albums you are able to change the settings to "only friends". Unless you are pursuing a career in professional photography then, of course, you'd want to do the opposite.
Step 6: Avoid the Post-Breakup FB Effect
If you're one of those people who don't want attention when changing your relationship status, not everyone is, then I would suggest going to the settings page and changing the "Family and Relationship" setting to "only me".
Step 7: Control What Information Applications Can Access
When you visit some of the applications on FB you may be asked if they may access your informations; this includes name, gender, birthday, profile picture and others. The more restrictive you make your settings the less information those applications can use. You're able to control those settings here.
Step 8: Make Contact Information Private
Have you ever gotten mysterious calls or texts from people you are certain you didn't give your number to? Well it turns out that you might have without actually thinking of it. It makes sense if you're going to put that kind of information on your page that you may want to restrict it to whom you trust with it. There are two ways to do this. First you can visit the privacy page and customize it to your liking; secondly, you can do it straight from your profile by clicking edit, clicking on the locks and customizing it from there.
Step 9: Avoid Embarassing Wall Posts
As much fun as you had at that party last weekend, you may not want the entire world to know. Your friends may not be using Facebook for professional use and may not think twice about posting things you don't necessarily want shared about it on your wall. Of course most people don't want to uncheck the "Friends may post to my wall", but you go to your privacy options, scroll down the page and click the drop selector by the "can see wall posts by friends" and customize those settings.
Step 10: Understand the Privacy Settings
Everyone - literally means everyone (internet, companies, friends...)
Friends and Networks - Friends and the networks you are in (universities or professional organization, cities...)
Friends of Friends - I'm not sure why you would want this option but it basically just restricts in some of your networks
Friends Only - this is pretty straight forward.
Custom - manually selecting individual friends for different settings.

Be smart with your social networking. Stay out of the negative news.
Photo Credit: CreativeCommons, User:ZyMOS.

5 comments:

Tess Myer February 8, 2011 at 1:23 PM  

This is a very interesting, and helpful blog post. Something to think about with security is what you might be loosing if you remove yourself from search engines, and that type of attention. If you remove yourself from these you may loosed certain followers, making your work less popular then you could be. Even though you're helping yourself in one aspect, you may be hurting yourself in another.

Katie Buchholz February 8, 2011 at 1:58 PM  

I see people all the time who post things on their Facebook and then they get all this heat from friends or co-workers. These are very good tips for everyone to look at.

Alexa Smith February 8, 2011 at 5:51 PM  

These are great tips! I think sometimes people do not pay enough attention to what they post or what others are posting about them.

Maddie Boswell February 8, 2011 at 6:35 PM  

This is great! I think that all Facebook users should read this, especially new users. So many people post so much information on Facebook and then wonder how people are able to contact them or find out certain information. I especially agree with knowing the privacy settings because they are no good if you don't understand them.

April Sigmund February 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM  

I also think these tips are great for facebook users. What you post about can be seen by anyone, including potential employers so it is important to think things over before posting.

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