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Monday, 6 February 2012

How To Update Your Privacy Setting On Facebook

With hundreds of millions of users, many people use the popular social networking site Facebook, but many people do not understand why others are hesitant to join citing ongoing privacy concerns. I myself have deleted my account on Facebook several times only to reluctantly re-open it as I needed to help a client with a Facebook business page. Something you cannot do without having an account. As more and more people request friendships on facebook, the amount of information that is stored on you can be a bit overwhelming. What's worse is while you can delete your account at any time, the information is never permanently deleted.

If you can have come to terms that you privacy and personal information is really not that private after all, you may want to look into updating you privacy settings. Something that is not that easy and took me sometime to figure out. What I did was created a fake account and became my own friend to test the settings. The language facebook uses to describe it's privacy is confusing and deliberately trying deter people from taking control of their own privacy. As a developer I have found it easier to create facebook apps that pull other peoples personal information from their account to another database (with their permission) than try to edit my own privacy settings. When I finally spent some time to figure it out, I thought a tutorial was needed.

Here are the steps on controlling your privacy on Facebook

1. Login to your Facebook account

2.On the top right of the page, click on the arrow and then click on Privacy Settings.

On the top right of the page, click on the arrow and then click on Privacy Settings.

3. Now opens this confusing screen, you can select the group you wish to edit settings for, Public, Friends or Custom. I recommend editing all three but for now we are going to edit the friends as we have too many friends that can see too much of our profiles.

[caption id="attachment_3071" align="aligncenter" width="620" caption="Click Friends to edit the privacy controls of what your friends can see."][/caption]

4. Once you click on Friends, you are taken to the popup box below.

Once you click on Friends, you are taken to the popup box below.

5. In the popup window, select friends again and then scroll down to custom.

6. Once you have done this, another confusing popup box appears like the once below.

[caption id="attachment_3074" align="aligncenter" width="451" caption="Once you have done this, another confusing popup box appears like this.

7. What you do now is enter the names of your close friends who you don't mind seeing posts about you that may not have posted yourself. You can see I have typed "Close Friends" as an example but I could type John, Christine, and Jane.

[caption id="attachment_3075" align="aligncenter" width="451" caption="Enter your friends names who you don't mind giving full access too.

8. Now click save and your privacy settings will be updated. You can also ask a friend to test for you.
Remember this is just one tutorial showing you how to gain greater control over what other are posting and tagging you in. There are other settings that much be changed also to ensure your facebook is kept secure and private. I have heard some horror stories from people being on Facebook so don't let yourself become another victim and update your privacy settings today. While it is not in Facebook's best interests to have people control their privacy, this is why it is not easy to do. There are many other tutorials online showing you other tips and tricks to ensure greater privacy controls.

What other default settings I have edited to prevent fraud, spam and privacy concerns on Facebook:

  • Removed my phone number to prevent companies sending me texts then charging me for them on my phone bill.

  • Removed my pictures from public search engines.

  • Turned off all notifications.

  • Removed my email address and instead use one that I do not check as I was getting too much spam from facebook.

  • I basically disallow everything and am only active on public facebook pages that are for businesses.

  • Also be careful with third-party applications as it seems you can not click a link on facebook these days without sending all your personal information to another company.


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