I am afraid that Facebook has aquired a really bad rep over time as a place for people to exploit themselves, their families, friends, and personal details. I want to argue, however, that being a Facebook user does not mean that you will have to endure hackers and strange people peeping into your personal life. Nor is it necessary for people to have multiple Facebook accounts- one for personal, and one for business. I have always believed that it is a far better use of time and energy to have just one big account- and carefully managing your contacts and how much access they have.
I am sharing this article written earlier this year, it is a well known resource to most Facebook users and referred to as the “Holy Grail of Facebook Privacy”. When I advise our clients to set up Facebook accounts, and be active users in these communities- the very last thing that I want for them is to feel vulnerable and “exposed” to people they may not know.
If you follow the 10 guidelines mentioned in 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know by Nick O’Neill (revised this month)- you will be able to breath easier. Nick shows you how to do the following smart steps in “Settings” to ensure your account is seen only by those who you want to see it- and helps avoid potentially embarassing situations among your friends, family and colleagues. Be sure to read his article and follow the steps outlined:
1. Using Your Friend Lists
2. Remove Yourself From Facebook Search Results
3. Remove Yourself From Google
4. Avoid the Infamous Photo/Video Tag Mistake
5. Protect Your Albums
6. Prevent Stories From Showing Up in Your Friends’ News Feeds
7. Protect Against Published Application Stories
8. Make Your Contact Information Private
9. Avoid Embarrassing Wall Posts
10. Keep Your Friendships Private
These are just ten ways that you can protect your privacy on Facebook. While there are a few other small things to keep in mind, these ten settings are most important. Keep in mind that while you may have turned off the visibility of many profile sections, there is no way to prevent all photos or videos from being visible if friends of yours make the images visible.
The best way to prevent embarrassing items from showing up on Facebook in the future is to not make bad judgements in your personal life. We’re all human though and being completely paranoid about every choice you make is probably not the best way to live your life. Be aware of what privacy settings are available and be conscious of what your friends may be publishing about you.
While you may not want to configure all of the privacy settings outlined, simply knowing how to do so is a great step in the right direction. By following the 10 settings listed above you are well on your way to an embarrassment free future on Facebook!