Friday, April 8, 2011

Facebook Security

You may have heard a little in the news over the last couple of years about Facebook and privacy. Who am I kidding - I'm sure you have heard a lot in the news about Facebook and privacy! 
When you sign up with Facebook, the default set up is that a lot of your personal information is made available to everyone, including your birth date, your relationships, you pictures, your status, and your likes.  You also becomes searchable via Google, Bing and other search engines.  To read Facebook's privacy policy click here
Most people feel that this is sharing way too much and want to curtail the levels to something more reasonable. Some of the privacy settings are easy to find and change, and some are not. I'm going to share with you in a series of blog posts how to adjust your privacy settings so that you are sharing as much or as little as you want.  

Controlling how you share content can be quite complex, but it is very important for your to review and determine what you want to share and with whom. You not only want to do this when you first sign up with Facebook, but every few months in case Facebook's privacy policy has change.   
Facebook gives you the options to share content with Everyone, Friends of Friends, or Friends only.  You can customize further and control certain types of content by making it visible or invisible to lists of contacts. For instance, you might not want your co-workers to see your photos.  
To adjust these settings:
Click on Account > Privacy Settings in the top right corner of your Facebook profile. 
The Recommended settings provide your family and relationship status to anyone who looks at your profile, as well as your bio (in which you might have included more personal information). Your status updates, photos and posts are also available to everyone by default. So any personal information contained in them can be seen by anyone on or off Facebook. 
Click on Customize Settings to adjust the settings as you desire.  Click the small pull down menu beside each setting to adjust who can see the information [Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, or Customize].  With Customize, you can limit to Only Me and say All Friends but certain individuals.
The result may look similar to this.
When you have adjusted the settings, click the Preview my Profile option to see your profile as someone else would.  If you are still sharing too much in your opinion, readjust your settings.
Next post in this series will be on Who Can Find You on Facebook...

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