How to stay private in the social, social world of Facebook
Wed, 23 Nov 2011 16:55:09 GMT —
It seems like Facebook makes changes to its platform on a daily basis. So, it's always worth reviewing your privacy settings and making sure that the people you want to share with are the only ones seeing your posts. Facebook has made it possible for you to manage exactly who sees your status updates, photos and comments. You can even control who tags you in a post and how people can find you on Facebook. It's pretty cool actually.
You should periodically check in and make sure your preferences are still in place, just in case Facebook changed something, and you missed the notification (it happens to us all the time!). So how do you do this? First step, go to the privacy section on your Facebook page
The most important item on this page: your "default" privacy setting. You have 3 initial options: Public (meaning the whole wide world can see everything), Friends (meaning only those with whom you are friends on Facebook can see it), and Custom (which is great if you only want to share some of your stuff with some of your friends some of the time, and want to select different people to share with each time - and a little tiresome if you don't).
To make full use of the custom setting, you need to make sure you have lists appropriately set up so that you can share with a certain set (example: close friends, family, runners, etc.). Or, if there's just one friend you don't want seeing most of your posts, like your boss, you can "Hide this from" a specific person, a number of people or a list. Don't forget to hit "Save Settings" when you're done!
Don't know what I mean about lists or have no idea how to create them? Facebook has a great primer to reference.
When you are done with the default setting, be sure to click through the rest of the options on the Privacy page to make sure that your profile and posts are seen only by the people you choose. Generally the privacy options are: Friends, Friends of Friends and Everyone. You MUST click on every "Edit Settings" link and make a selection on every item in the dropdown to ensure the desired level of privacy has been assigned by Facebook.
After you've made your selections, we recommend that you do two things:
1) Go to your Facebook profile (not your wall, which is just facebook.com), and copy your URL from the browser bar. Then, log out of Facebook, paste the URL back into the browser bar and see what shows up.
2) Make sure that you use the "view as" tool - this will allow you to see how someone who is on Facebook, but isn't a friend, might see your page. To do this, go to your profile, click the "Edit Profile" button in the upper right hand corner. Click "View As" at the top right corner of the editing page. This will show you the public view. You can also see how a certain person (friend, friend of friend, random user) sees your profile by typing their name into the open field and pressing enter. If your boss or coworkers are friends, it's highly recommended that you plug their names specifically into the field so you can see exactly what they see on your profile.