5 Facebook Privacy Settings
You Need to Know About Now!
Like getting coffee in
the morning, Facebook has become a part of daily life.
These days it seems like everyone is using it. The only
real danger from coffee is that nervous, high feeling
from drinking too much. But Facebook can pose a serious
risk to your privacy.
Every time you use
Facebook, you are putting information about yourself on
the Web. Every post, every picture, every update gets
published. You need to know how to protect your privacy.
Facebook updates its
privacy settings routinely. That's good news in an
ever-changing online world. But that also makes it
difficult to monitor what you're keeping private. So
I've boiled down the five most important privacy
settings on Facebook. These will help you stay safe
while having fun connecting with friends and family.
The first place you
want to visit is the Privacy Settings page on Facebook.
Go to Facebook and log in. Then look to the top right
and click on Account>>Privacy Settings. This page is
where you adjust most of your privacy settings.
The first thing to
protect is your contact information. You really don't
want some creep finding out where you live.
On the Privacy
Settings page, click "Customize settings." After the new
page loads, scroll to the bottom. You should see an area
for Contact information.
information is made up of five parts. These are your
mobile phone number, another phone number, a physical
address, instant messenger screen name and your e-mail.
Next to each is a dropdown menu. Here you choose who can
see that information.
The dropdown menu will
give you several choices. Those are Everyone, Friends
and Networks, Friends of Friends, Friends only, and
Customize. Select Customize.
This will open a new
window in the center of your screen. You'll see a
section labeled Make this visible to. Next to "These
people," select Only Me. On the next line it says "And
this network." Make sure no networks are selected. Then
click Save Setting. Do this for every piece of your
The next setting you
should secure is public searching. This will hide your
information and pictures from search sites like Google.
To find the public
searching options, navigate to the Privacy Settings
page. In the bottom right, there is a section labeled
Applications and Websites. Click Edit Settings below
that. This loads a new page. The last item on this page
is Public search. Click Edit Settings directly to the
right of it.
Here you'll see a
quick description of what public search does. Basically
it allows search sites to see a preview of your profile.
This lets others search for you without using Facebook.
Below the description is a checkbox that says "Enable
public search." Make sure that is unchecked.
While you're there,
you should also click the Basic Directory Information
link. These settings will affect how other Facebook
users can search for you. For example, let's say you
only want friends to see you. You would set each to
Another feature of
Facebook you should be aware of is Places. You can use
Facebook to check in to a real-world location. This lets
the world know where you are. Some people find it
helpful. Others see it as just plain creepy. Of course,
it could be a boon to stalkers.
It's easy enough to
turn this feature off. Head back to your Privacy
Settings page. Then click "Customize settings." Under
"Things I Share" look for "Places I check in to." Click
the dropdown menu to the right. Now select Customize. In
the window that opens, use the dropdown to select Only
Me. Make sure you have no networks selected below that.
Click Save Setting.
Once you're back on
the Privacy Settings page look for "Include me in People
Here Now after I check in." Make sure the Enable check
box on the right is unchecked.
You'll want to make
sure your friends can't check you in to Places either.
On the Privacy Settings page, look for the section
labeled "Things others share." The last setting should
read "Friends can check me in to Places."
Click Edit Settings on
the right. A new window will open in the center of your
screen. Next to "Friends can check me in to places" make
sure it says Disabled. Select Okay.
Now let's protect your
photos. Each photo album you create has its own
independent privacy settings. You can also adjust these
from the Privacy Settings page.
First click "Customize
settings." Click "Edit album privacy" under "Things I
share." Now you can adjust who can see which albums. The
smartest thing to do is to set all albums to Friends
Only. That way your friends can still see your photos.
But the weirdoes who try to stalk your profile can't.
While you're on the
Privacy Settings page, let's limit what pictures others
can share. Look for "Things others can share." The first
option is "Photos and videos I'm tagged in." You should
change that to Friends Only.
Finally, the last
setting you really want to concern yourself with is app
I recently told you how Facebook apps were leaking
private information. But this is
important stuff. So here's a refresher on protecting
yourself while using apps.
Navigate to the
Privacy Settings page. Click "Edit your settings" under
Applications and Websites. There are two parts you'll
want to adjust.
First in "Applications
you use," select Edit Settings. You'll see a list of all
of the applications you use. Each one has its own
settings. You can go through each app by clicking Edit
Settings next to it.
Some apps will require
information such as your name, profile picture and the
like. There's no way to stop the app from getting
required information. You can, however, remove the app.
To the far right of each application is a gray X.
Clicking it removes the application.
After you've adjusted
these settings, click Back to Application Privacy. In
the section that says "Info accessible through your
friends," click Edit Settings. A new window will open in
the center of your screen. Uncheck all of the options
here. Then select Save Changes.
Keep in mind these
settings aren't comprehensive. There's certainly more
you can do to protect your privacy. Lucky for you, I've
found a couple of useful tools that can help.
BitDefender safego are two good options. Both give you
feedback on how strong or weak your privacy settings
are. BitDefender also gives you added protection against
malicious Facebook links.
Tips are from Kim Komando's Tips of the Day
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