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Nov 9, 2012

Safety Belt For Facebook's User Privacy

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No doubt: Facebook is everywhere. So today I am sharing the ultimate primer for your Facebook safety needs, that every user needs to know.

Safety Belt For Facebook's User Privacy

Facebook recently unveiled a new feature that allows anyone to access the site under a HTTPs secure connection. This is the same kind of connection that online banking and shopping sites use to protect your credit card data. It makes Facebook slightly slower, but it can make it extremely difficult for anyone to hack into your profile. Enable "Secure Browsing (https)" by checking the box under "Account Security".

Change your privacy

Sharing - When choosing with whom to share private content, remember that you can choose among Everyone. Friends of Friends, or (status/photos/videos, bio, tagged photos and videos, religious/political views, etc.)

Existing photos - Make sure to go and change the privacy setting for each picture - wall photos, albums, etc. Your boss doesn't need to see your binge drinking photos.

Checking into "Place" - By default, Facebook allows friends to tag and "check" you into places. If you want to remain in sole control of this feature disable "friend tags".

Connecting on Facebook - "Connecting" allows people to find you by sharing your photo, as well as information about your gender, hometown, education, and age. Choose again, between sharing this with Friends Only, Everyone, or customize them. You don't want to leave these setting too open, as you'll likely invite a handful of spammers and anonymous "friends" to your page, but restricting these too much will make it difficult for others to find you.
Apps - It might be painstaking, but you'll need to carefully review each and every application and its permissions on your account.

Instant personalization - This allows third parties access to your personal data in order to "personalize" your experience on other websites. Opt out of this by leaving the check-box ("Enable instant personalization on partner websites") unchecked.

Info through friends - It might seem odd, but it's there: third parties can still access your information through your friends, especially if there privacy settings aren't as strict as yours. Modify this setting to control which information you want accessible through your friends.

Public search - When people search for your Facebook profile on a public search engine like Google, Bing or yahoo! search, they might get a glimpse of your information. Leave this check box disabled if you want to keep it private.

Friends Lists - Creating lists is probably the best way to conveniently categorize your colleagues when you want to specify which ones can see photos which can see wall posts, etc. It's easy - just make sure to make at least three, for close friends, family members, and business associates.

Don't be friends with everyone - Not every friend "request" you receive is from a genuine friend. A good rule of thumb us this: If the person isn't a real-life acquaintance, then you probably shouldn't add him. Remember that people with malicious intent can and do lurk on the site so screen requests carefully.

Think before you type - Lastly, remember that all of the profile scrutinizing in the world won't do any good if you tend to blurt out personal information (or, even worse, insults) on statuses, or if careless friends reveal private details on your wall. Keep an eye out for this - if you don't want friends being reckless on your profile, delete your wall entirely.

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