Facebook Privacy 101

Facebook has notoriety in messing with privacy options.  Through the past few years, there have been numerous changes and additions that have most people wondering, “Who is looking at my information?”  With so many options, it’s difficult to know which ones are the right ones to change.  One wrong click can be the difference between having a “locked-down” profile and one that is open for the world (literally!) to see.  Here are my top 3 tips to ensuring security and peace of mind for your Facebook account.

First, get friendly with the official privacy settings. In this area, you will see a list to set your privacy as one of 3 things: public (everyone), friends only, or custom.  By choosing one of the options at the top, it will make a blanket change to all the areas listed below (how you connect, how tags work, apps and websites, audience for past posts, and blocked people and apps).  Each of those sub areas also have their own set of settings, so be sure to look in there as well.

Next, check out your profile privacy settings. When you go to edit your profile, you will see a little dropdown that allows you to choose how you want to share each piece of information.  It used to be that there was one setting for each option (education, interests, etc.) but now, Facebook offers you pretty much complete control on each item.  The settings in here will affect not only how your friends view your profile, but also how you show up in Facebook search.  Another new feature, noted at the top of the edit page, is the ability to “view profile as” a specific friend or the public – so you can see the changes you make along the way.

Finally, your status update is the last place where there are settings to be aware of. The default setting for who sees your updates are what you set in the “Official” privacy settings.  However, you do have the option to change this to broadcast an update to a particular group of people (a Facebook list or group) or to make it public to the world.

After reading this post, I suggest you go back, take a look at what your personal settings are and adjust them as needed.  With all the security issues that happen beyond our control, this is one thing you can do to prevent any information from getting out that you might not want published.

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avatar About Michelle Ton

Michelle is a recent graduate from The Ohio State University. She is the social media marketer for a technology company based in Dayton. In addition to her marketing role, she lends her free time to being the web development lead for upDayton's Internship Committee, being a co-host of New Media Dayton's weekly tweetchat (#NMDChat), and helping run her family's local nail salon. Her passion for good food and high fashion are prominent themes in her personal blog at michellenton.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @michellenton.