Saving your Facebook blushes: five steps to privacy freedom
Posted by Paula Vance
Technology and online writer
September 27th 2012 at 9:00
Facebook is in the news again following more privacy complaints. If you live in fear of colleagues finding out something they shouldn’t, read our five steps to protecting your Facebook privacy…
An estimated 1 billion registered users (that’s one seventh of the world’s population!) now use Facebook. While privacy is a major concern for everyone using the net, developers at Facebook regularly review and update the platform’s privacy which can make it difficult to keep up.
There are many ways that being lax with your Facebook privacy can cause problems. Unflattering photographs, inappropriate comments on your profile, the list goes on. Some online slip-ups can be embarrassing, some downright damaging!
If you also consider that most employers now have social media policies which cover not only use of these platforms during working hours but also what you say outside of work, privacy becomes even more relevant.
So let’s take a look at some steps you can take to put Facebook’s privacy features to good use:
Five steps to Facebook freedom
Change default privacy settings: Go to privacy settings (click on the drop down arrow next to the Home tab), then set general or custom rules for who can post on your wall, see your posts and who can see posts you’ve been tagged in.
Create lists: A nifty feature which allows you to sort your contacts into groups. You can add colleagues and employers to a ‘Work’ category and people you only know through parent meetings, sporting events or business dealings to an ‘Acquaintances’ list for example. Add friends to a list by hovering over the ‘Friends’ button at the top of their profile or create/manage lists from the left hand column of your homepage.
Limit audience for past posts: If you’ve been careless with your privacy settings in the past this will set a general rule for all of the past posts on your timeline. Found under Privacy Settings.
Set Timeline review: Let’s face it, some photos can be embarrassing! While you can’t stop someone from posting that picture of you practising air guitar at a family wedding it is possible to prevent unflattering pictures from appearing on your personal timeline. Set ’Timeline Review’ so next time someone tags you in a photo you can decide whether it appears on your wall (found in Timeline & Tagging under Privacy Settings).
Set privacy for individual posts: This is where the list feature above really comes in handy. You can decide the audience for every single status, photo, album or link you post on your timeline. Simply click on the glyph/dropdown below each post then select ‘Friends’ or a particular group or even make custom rules. You can also change this setting any time after the post has been published to your timeline.
Finally, when you’ve had a bad day it’s all too tempting to have a moan about work or your in-laws. Remember, although you can decide to filter people from seeing your posts, there is always the chance that you’ve overlooked someone.
The moral of the story is, think first… post later.
Have you experienced an embarrassing Facebook moment? What are your Facebook privacy concerns? Let us know below.
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