Part 7 Changing Your Facebook Privacy Settings = To Max Protect
Just like with internet browsers, there are settings you need to change on Facebook to protect yourself. If you’ve read parts 1-6 then you know the dangers and what to protect, now I’ll walk you through how to do this.
Log in to Facebook
Go ahead, log in if you aren’t already. Try not to get distracted by all the new stuff people have posted…OMG Kim went to McDonalds for lunch today! And she had two orders of fries! Awesome! My life is now complete! Wait, back on topic. Look up at the right hand corner of the page in between your name and the logout button. Scroll over the Setting link up there and click on account settings. Let’s start with your Name. Remove your middle name or initial if it is on there. I’ve touched on the email so go ahead and click ‘manage’ on the privacy section.
Managing your Privacy
Try to stay with me here..Facebook doesn’t make this all that easy. You have to jump through a few hoops to change everything. Click on profile and restrict everything to ‘Only Friends’. You can also customize these if you want to block certain people from seeing things. Click Save when you are done. On that same page click on the link called “edit photo albums privacy settings”…it’s under the ‘Photos tagged of You’. Change all of those to ‘Only Friends’. Then click save settings at the bottom of the page. Now go back to the main privacy page and again click on profile..for some reason Facebook doesn’t take you right back to where you were. But get back to the page where you clicked to change your photo album privacy settings.
Click on the tab at the top that says ‘Contact Information’, it’s right text to a tab called ‘Basic’ which is where you were. Now you can restrict any personal information you might have listed in your account. I would change the settings on these so that ‘No one’ could view any of it except for maybe your website if you have one for your business. But your friends should already know your phone number (which shouldn’t be on there), your address (they can call and get this), and your email. So don’t make it visible. Again, click save changes at the bottom when you are done.
Now on this same page click on the ‘Visit applications page in order to change settings for applications’. It’s in blue at the top in a sentence. Go through all of those and also restrict to ‘Friends Only’.
Search Privacy Settings
Alright now I need you to go and scroll over ‘Settings’ at the very top of Facebook and click on ‘Privacy Settings’. It should take you to a page Called ‘Privacy’ that lists Profile, Search, News Feed and Wall, and Applications. Click on Search to start.
You have some choices to make here. Do you want to be visible to everyone? It’s your decision and really it matters if you are interested in connecting with people from your past that may only find you this way. Unless you are really paranoid then making yourself visible to everyone is okay.
Now you want to limit the ‘search result content’. I would uncheck the ‘pages I am a fan of’ and ‘my friend list’. And you can uncheck that profile pic if you are uncomfortable with that. Another way you can really protect yourself is to uncheck the ‘a link to add me as a friend’. This forces someone to actually send you a message before they can be your friend. If they really want to be your friend then they should send you a message…if that’s too hard for them then why be friends with them? Finally decide whether you want to have a ‘public search listing’…is there any reason you want your Facebook profile to show up when your name is searched for on Google or another search engine? When you are done click ‘Save Changes’ and click on ‘Privacy’ at the top.
News Feed and Wall
Once you are back to ‘Privacy’…I told you this wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Click on News Feed and wall. Here you need to decide if you want all of your friends to know when you post something to another friends page? I uncheck all of this. It’s up to you but if I post something to someone else’s page then it’s for them..not everyone.
Next click on ‘Facebook Ads’ at the top of that News Feed and Wall page. It’s a tab at the top next to ‘Actions within Facebook’. Change the ‘Allow ads on platform pages to show my information to’ No one. Make sure this is set to ‘No one’. Also set the ‘show my social actions in Facebok Ads to’ No one. Once both of these are set to No one then click save changes at the bottom and click back to the main privacy link on that page.
Now click on the ‘Applications’ Section of the privacy page. There are two tabs on that page…the overview and the settings. Read the overview if you like but click on settings to make the changes. I’m guessing 99.9% of you can’t click on the ‘do not share any information about be through Facebook API’ because you have some type of application installed on your account. Now I would uncheck everything on that list. There is no reason that I can think of to have this information available in multiple places. It’s just another way to protect yourself. Click on Save Changes at the bottom of the page…DO Not Forget to do this on these pages. Facebook has put these on the bottom of the pages only and usually below your initial screen. Go back to the main Privacy Page.
Ok this should be a no brainer but if you know anyone from your past that you don’t trust, don’t want to talk to, or has harmed you then block them. Take some time and think about anyone that would fit into this category…it may be someone who has harmed someone you know. Do you have a crackhead in the family?
Changing Your Profile Information
Now it’s time to make some changes to your profile. Go to your profile page and click ‘edit my profile’. This link is found underneath your photo on the left.
Remove everything you can. Your friends already know if you are a guy or a girl. They know where you live and they know your sexual preference. None of this information is needed for your friends. It’s great for voyeurs and people that don’t know you. Do not use your real bday and do not list your hometown.
If you have filled this out…go through everything and make sure you are not giving away any passwords to anything. Make sure there isn’t anything on there that could be used against you by your employer or a co-worker. Do your friends already know all of this? Who is this information really for?
I recommend using an email address that you do not use for any logins for your bank, insurance, or credit cards. Remove multiple emails. There is no reason to have your phone number on there and you sure as hell don’t want your address listed.
Education and Work
This is really up to you. You have to decide how much of this information you want visible and how much of it you feel needs to be hidden.
I’ve called this “Max Protect” and that’s just what it is. Most people are probably going to opt for something in the middle…choosing to leave some of this information visible but take the time to go through it all and make a choice instead of blindly setting up your account. That way if something should happen, at least you made a choice and live with the consequences.
Again, two things to ask yourself when trying to decide what to remove and/or make private:
- Don’t my real friends already know this information?
- If this isn’t there for my real friends then who is this information really there for?