Facebook is a great place to connect with your friends, and keep up with them by sharing updates, posts, photos, videos, and more. However, if you are being harassed by some obscure person from high school that you couldn’t stand while still in high school, or being deluged with invites to become a farmer in Farmville, it can quickly turn into a not-so-fun place to be.
Take a few minutes to adjust your privacy settings for your Facebook account. Not only will you protect your privacy, but you’ll protect your sanity as well. Here’s how to do it:
Log in to your Facebook account, and click the Account link in the top right corner, then select Privacy Settings. You’ll see that this page is broken down into several sections.
Connecting on Facebook
This is where you go to decide how people can find you on Facebook (or not, if that’s the case). Click View Settings, and you can go through each item on the list: who can send you friend requests, who can search for you on Facebook, who can send you messages, see your friend list, see your education and work information, see your hometown and current city, and view your likes, activities, and interests. Whew. Use the pull-down menu after each item to set your preference. Choose Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, or Customize. Customize and pick and choose.
Sharing on Facebook
These are the settings that control who is able to see what you are sharing. The list includes status updates, photos, posts, your bio, favorite quotes and family. Again, go through each item and select your preference. There is also a Recommended selection for security purposes…although I think it’s best for you to go through and decide for yourself via the Customize selection.
Applications and Websites
If you are concerned about applications getting hold of your personal information, you’ll want to turn off platform apps. This can be done individually or in one swoop. If you allow an application permission, then they can see your private information.
Need to block someone? Here’s where you do it. Add their name, click Block this User, and that person can no longer be your friend on Facebook or interact with you in any way.
You can also block applications from specific people…say, from the crazy lady in accounting that keeps sending you Farmville requests, even though you have mentioned several times that you don’t have any interest in virtual farming. Simply add her name, and then click “Ignore All Invites from this Friend”.
If you want to block an application, go to the application’s Facebook page and click “Block App” on the left hand side of the page. If you have a change of heart and miss your farm, you can always go back to the Block List section on the privacy pages and simply click to unblock it.
While we are on the subject of privacy…go to this section to control how your profile shows up in public searches on internet browsers. Edit settings, and make sure the box is unchecked if you want to be sure you have not enabled Facebook to share your goodies.
Facebook says that the new profiles that are popping up all over will continue to utilize your current security settings. To be on the safe side, review your privacy settings every so often, as Facebook is continually updating how it handles privacy and security.
Find more information on Facebook and security and privacy.
– Angela Skinner Mullen