Facebook continues to be a very popular social networking site with more than 750 million active users. Recently, Facebook changed its settings to better protect the privacy of its users. If you learn how to use these new settings, you’ll have more control of what your friends and the public are able to view on your wall.
Here are some tips on protecting your privacy:
- Turn on the Profile Review Setting: This setting allows you to review posts you’re tagged in before they go on your profile. Turning on this setting is important because even though you might want to be tagged in something so you can see it, you may not want others to see it on your profile. To turn on this setting, click “Account” on the upper right, go down to “Privacy Settings”, click the “edit settings” option for How Tags Work, click “off” (if it already says “on” then you’re all set) on Profile Review, and click on “Turn On Profile Review.”
- Turn on the Tag Review Setting: This setting allows you to approve or reject tags people put on your photos and posts. Turning on this setting is important because it will give you the option of rejecting the tags of people you’re not friends with. To turn on this setting, follow the steps above and instead of clicking “off” for “Profile Review,” click “off” (if it already says “on” then you’re all set) on “Tag Review” and choose “Turn On Tag Review”
- Turn off Tag Suggestions Setting: This setting allows Facebook to recognize your face in photos and automatically tag you. Turning off this setting is important because Facebook doesn’t always accurately recognize you, and you’ll avoid being tagged in pictures you don’t want to be tagged in. To turn this setting off, follow the steps above and instead of clicking “off” on “Tag Review, click “on” (it already says “off” then you’re all set) on “Tag Suggestions” and then choose the “disabled” option.
- Don’t allow your friends to check you into places: This setting not only allows your friends to see where you are, but “friends” of your friends can see this information too. To disable this setting, follow the steps above and instead of clicking “off” on tag review, click “on” (if it already says “off” then you’re all set) “Friends Can Check You Into Places” and choose the “disabled” option.
- Choose wisely who you share things with: On the “new” Facebook, you can either choose to share your posts with just your friends, allow your posts to be viewed by the public, or customize and pick and choose what friends you want to show/hide the post from. Never choose public – if a person isn’t your Facebook friend, they shouldn’t have access to your posts.
- Check what information your friends bring into their applications: You may not know this, but when you or your friends use a Facebook application, you share not only your information but all of your friends information too. Go to your privacy settings page and click on “edit settings” on Apps and Websites. Then click “edit settings” on How people bring your info to apps they use” and then unselect all of the boxes.
Here are some more things you should know about the “new” Facebook:
- The word “everyone” that was previously used in privacy settings has been changed to “public”- so instead of sharing things with everyone, you now share things with the public.
- You can now approve or reject when your friends tag someone in your photos.
- There’s a new tool that allows you to see how your profile looks to any specific friend or to someone that isn’t your friend (the public). This tool is located next to the “edit profile” button on your profile and it says “view as…”
- The way to untag yourself from a photo has changed – you now have to click the “report/remove tag” link on the photo, and then choose the first option “yes this photo is about me or a friend: I want to remove this tag.” Click continue, and then choose the first option “remove the tag [the name of your friend] created” and click continue.
- The “Tag Review” and “Profile Review” settings are different in that the profile review setting allows you to accept/reject your friend’s posts on your profile. So you’re friends won’t see the photo/post your tagged in, but it doesn’t remove your tag on that photo. The tag review setting allows you to accept/reject the tags others make on your photos/posts – it doesn’t allow you to accept or remove your tag from that post.
- With the “new” Facebook settings, you can no longer delete messages the same way. Before you could click on the “x” next to the message and that would do it. Now, you have to click the message, click on “actions” at the top right, go down to “delete messages…”, and click “delete all” or select which parts of the message thread you want to get deleted.
Although some of these new changes may seem annoying or confusing, they really help protect your privacy. It may seem like a lot of work to go in and change all of the settings, but if you’re someone that likes to limit the amount of information you share, this is something that you might want to do.