Facebook Privacy is in the hands of the user
Let’s face it, as soon as we decided to create a Facebook Profile or Page, we all chose to give up some (others might say all) of our so-called privacy. The very word, social, implies things like talking to others, engaging (as if that word wasn’t overused) with others, and interacting with others. Sharing a little bit of ourselves. That said, we would all like at least a semblance of control over what we share and who we share it with. With the advent of Facebook’s Graph Search, the ultimate personalized discovery engine, folks are getting or rather should be getting a little squeamish about the amount of information they are sharing. In fact, if you listened to On The Media’s broadcast last week, you’re probably familiar with @tomscott’s Tumblr “Actual Facebook Graph Searches“. If not, go read it. You will laugh and you will cringe — think “Mothers of Jews Who Like Bacon” or “Family members of people who live in China and like Falun Gong”. Yea, that. Convinced that you need to check and modify your Facebook privacy settings? Let’s do this thing.
Your Cheat Sheet for Some Facebook Privacy Settings
Let’s start with your About Settings
Look at the upper right hand corner of your Facebook toolbar
- Click the little lock icon
- From here, you can make changes to
- Who can see my stuff
- Who can contact me
- How do I stop someone from bothering me
- Click the arrow next to the the question you wish to modify
Who can see my future posts
(sticky note: Mine is set to friends however I am famous for customizing individual posts rather than relying on Facebook to remember who I want to see what. Paranoid.) Click the drop down arrow and modify. Choose Friends, Only Me, Customize, Etc.
- In my case, as I said before, I customize. I have created lists of “friends” based on my connection to them. I have “Homies”, “No No’s”, “No Links or Pics”, “Design Spike Peops”, etc.
- Click Custom and you have the option to single out individuals who you do not want to share status updates with. Or specific folks you do.
- You can do this on individual status updates as well.
Where can I review all of my posts and things I’m tagged in?
- Click Activity Log. Activity Log needs to become your friend who you check in with daily. (sticky note: what follows is a brief overview of activity log. The next blog post will go in to more detail)
- From here you can review your Facebook posts, posts and images you have been tagged in, pages you like, apps, and more.
- If you see posts you did not mean to share publicly, you can make changes on this screen. (sticky note: yes, I blurred out a post I shared with some, not all, of my friends)
- Review who you have shared posts, photos, etc. with especially if you have concerns about Facebook’s graph search. On the left hand side, click on photos. You will see photos you have shared and photos of you.
- If you do not wish to be “searchable” and associated with these photos, remove the tag by clicking the little world icon to the upper right of the photo, click Report/Remove, select “I want to untag myself”.
- To make more modifications, click More under Comments on the left hand side of your screen. From here you can make changes to Likes, Friends, About, Following, Events, etc.
What do other people see on my timeline?
One of my personal favorites to play with.
- Click View As
- Select to view as the Public or as a Specific Person
- Begin typing their name to see what they see
- This is particularly interesting once you start customizing posts. Really. Try it.
Wrap it up. Clean it up.
Whew, that was a little more in depth than I originally intended. However, Facebook privacy settings are your own responsibility and reviewing cheat sheets like this are a must. Checking your settings, understanding them, modifying them are no longer options. The next blog post will cover updating your Facebook contact settings. friend requests, more on the Activity Log and how to cover your tracks. So, when is the last time you checked your Facebook privacy settings?