Facebook Privacy! For Real?
How Safe Are You?

Facebook privacy is something every single man, woman, and child should be aware of and concerned about in this world of high-technology, especially with the upswing in online criminal activity and identity theft.

Facebook privacy? The dangers of social networking are real.

So many of my friends and family are now on Facebook or one of the other social networking sites.

Because of this, they are now extremely concerned about their safety and Facebook privacy.

Most everyone posts pictures, information, talk about their lives, plans, travel, and some add personal information such as full name, address, phone number, without giving this a second thought.

  • This is personal information that should never be posted online for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to have access to.
  • This information can lead to your pictures being “tagged” and showing up all over the internet causing you a great deal of embarrassment.
  • In many cases, as heard on news channels, people have actually lost their job because of inappropriate photos being seen.

This makes Facebook privacy even more important.

To learn more ways to protect your kids and yourself go to dangers of social networking and senior social networking.

See the list below for some safety tips to take while online for Facebook privacy.

Facebook Privacy – Safety Tips

  • Know the terms of Facebook. Settings will usually default to Everyone. This means your friends are not the only ones to have access but everybody.
  • Facebook privacy should be implemented as not using this is a very dangerous thing to do.
  • For more security, change this setting by going to the “Account Tab” and clicking “Privacy Settings/Profile Information”.
  • Options are by every category, including “Friends of Friends”, “Friends and Networks” and, “Only Friends”.
  • The “Networks” option only shows if you are part of a university or some other professional group.
  • Also seen is a “Custom” option that opens up a pop-up that allows you to share with only individual users and yourself.

This particular setting is one that is widely used for Facebook privacy.

A normal setup for different groups is usually “Friends”, “Family and Professional” and allows you to create separate privacy policies for the different groups.

This protects your Facebook privacy to the degree that if you went out to party and had a photo posted that showed you in a “not so good light”, you certainly would not want anyone but your friends or family to see these. (You may not even want them to see these!)

In any case, you wouldn’t want to jeopardize your career or work relationships by allowing anyone outside of your family or friends to see these photos.

So many users are not even aware of their friend’s lists.

This is a feature that allows you to create private groupings of friends based on your own preferences.

  • You are able to create a list for meetings, a list of friends, create a list for your organizations such as camera club, book club, etc.
  • To see these Facebook privacy controls go to the lower right corner and click the padlock icon and you will see the Friends, Everyone, Friends of Friends and networks choices.

Customize allows you to specify the people you want to block or share with individually.

Facebook Privacy
Contact Information

  • Another area to protect is the contact information”.

Contact information includes your personal phone number and email.

This Facebook privacy setting is important and easy to set, but I don’t believe people really think much about doing this, or it is easy to forget to do.

The important thing to remember is, we don’t want just anyone having access to this information and people we don’t know having the ability to contact us at will.

  • The Contact Info can be edited from your profile. If this information has already been selected, go to “Contact Information” under the “Info” tab in your profile.
  • Simply click “Edit” when it displays and a screen will show up.
  • For every contact item in your profile, set a custom Facebook privacy setting so contacts that aren’t close friends will not have access to your personal email and phone number.

Just doing this one simple step for Facebook privacy will save you untold headaches of being bothered with “undesirables” that may wish you harm.

This is an excellent practice to get into for your own peace of mind.

Facebook Privacy Settings

If you're one of those people who love being on Facebook or, have a business you promote on any one of the list of social networking sites you must be vigilant in the protection of your privacy.

There are just too many scammers and hackers that are more than willing to use any of your personal information found on one of these sites to steal your possessions and make you a victim of identity theft and more.

It is unbelievable what the social networks share with the rest of the world.

For an example go to, Zesty.com/facebook to use their tool to see what’s public.

  • First, input your Facebook account number or user ID. Just look at the URL for your Facebook profile page.

Click through all the fields to see everything that’s public.

This tool will not include shared application info or the “instant personalization feature” of Facebook.

The next Item to take into account is the Facebook privacy protection guide.

  • Unfortunately, Facebook privacy settings forces your “likes” and interests to be linked to publicly accessible community and group pages.
  • Because of this, it isn’t hard to connect the lines and figure out someone’s age, birth date or school they went to and when they graduated.

I believe it is also important to keep your friendships private. Not all your friends want to have their information made public.

Danger of friends network and identity theft is fact.
  • Either turn off your “Friends” visibility to others or check with your friends before you allow their info to be public and make sure they know all the dangers of exposing personal information that anyone has access to.
  • Go to the setting that says “Friends” and modify your setting to your personal choice.

Visibility is not only a criminal's/scammer's dream, but is also used for marketing purposes, scams and many other things that put your security at risk!

Facebook Privacy Protection Guide

Facebook Privacy - Stop The Tagging Of Your
Photos From People

This problem is such a classic involving the social networking sites.

I have included a link to a chart that shows and breaks down all the numerous setting categories that you need to be aware of and make sure you review.

Click http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/12/business/facebook-privacy.html

I know…it’s a pain to do but, it will be worth your while so you can visually see all the areas that a scammer can attack.

I can’t stress enough that you be consistent in the protection of your visibility and privacy when it comes to not only the social networking sites but, any time you are online.

  • Go to “Applications and Websites” privacy settings page. Uncheck the box that says “Allow” and confirm you want to opt-out.

This doesn’t stop your Facebook friends from sharing and accessing your personal data, but it deletes the personal data from partner sites.

This is another critical step to take for Facebook privacy.

To do this you need to manually block each site by doing the next few steps.

  • Go into the “Facebook Docs app page”.
  • Click “Block Docs” on the confirmation page appearing on your screen.
  • Go to “Pandora app page”. Repeat the step 2 process in order to block the application.
  • Go to “Yelp app page”. Repeat step 2 once again.
  • Back to the “Applications” privacy settings page, click the button to edit setting for “What your friends can share about you”.

Make sure you un-check all the boxes unless, of course, you want particular friends to publicly share any of those types of information.

  • Click on “Save Changes”.

Facebook Privacy
Remove Yourself From Google

Facebook has over 400 million users and gets a ridiculous amount of traffic from showing user profiles in search engines.

At this point and time, Facebook only displays in the search profile a list of your friends, your profile picture, a link to send you a message, a link to add you as a friend and a list of up to about 20 fan pages that you become a member of.

You are able to control the public search listing of visibility to Google and other search engines.

  • Go to the search privacy settings page.
  • Under search visibility, click “Only Friends” (make sure you really want to be removed from Facebook search results, as this will do it).

If you prefer, you may select another group such as “My Networks and Friends” which is the default.

  • Unchecking the “Public Search Results” box will also remove your public preview from Bing, Google and Yahoo search returns. (Be aware, you may still be found by friends of friends).
  • Save your changes.

Many people want to be displayed in the search engines as a way for people to find them, especially if they haven’t created their own website.

Facebook, of course, ranks very high in search results; so if you make your search profile you will make it much easier to be located.

Facebook Privacy - Become Invisible To Facebook Search Results

I know many people that would rather not be in Facebook’s search result and would rather be removed and keep a low profile. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Go to “Search Privacy” settings page.
  • Under “Search Visibility” click “Only Friends” (make sure before you do this that you really want to be removed from Facebook search results). Another option you can do is select another group such as, “My Networks and Friends”.)
  • Click – save changes.
  • Selecting “Customize” from the search visibility will make your settings even more invisible.

Facebook by default makes visible your presence to the network you are in.

So many people are not aware of how visible they are, so modifying this setting is one of the first things users might wish to do for Facebook privacy.

I discussed this problem to some extent in the beginning of this page at tips for more information.

So many Facebook, Myspace, and other networking sites have had members post very regrettable pictures on their site when they partied too much, showed themselves to be drunk, and other very regrettable actions.

They also didn’t think about the long-term effects of their actions, and paid the price.

  • Many people not only found themselves in an embarrassing situation, but it cost them their children, jobs, identity and security.
  • Some users had relationships that were terminated because of pictures or information that was posted on their site.

Preventing that “old infamous” photo that is tagged from showing up on all your friends’ sites and news feeds is fairly easy.

  • Go to your “Profile Privacy” page under “Account/Privacy settings”.
  • Modify the settings that are next to “Photos Tagged” of you.
  • Select the “Customize” option and a box will pop up.
  • Select “Only Me” then “None Of My Networks” to keep all photos private.

You may also make selected tagged photos visible to only your personal choice of users and add them to the box under “Some Friends” option.

After you select “Some Friends” a box will be displayed and you may type either a “friend list” or, “individual's friends.

Facebook Privacy – Wall Posts That Embarrass You And How To
Avoid Them

Have you ever had a friend post something that totally embarrasses you, causes undue emotional stress, or may cause you to lose your job because the post or photo was not “work friendly”?

Many members have faced this very situation. You may only use Facebook for business, but that doesn’t necessarily apply to your friends.

This is one of the reasons that Facebook has provided it's members with the option to customize the visibility of your wall postings.

  • It is now also possible to control the friends you want to post on your wall. You can control these things in two places.

Facebook Privacy - Adjust The Visibility Of The Wall Posting

Visibility Of The Wall Posting

  • You can control those that are able to view your wall postings made by your friends within your “Profile” page.
  • Click on the “Settings” icon on the wall in your “Profile” page.
  • Find the box pictured in the above image and adjust the setting that says “Who Can See Post Made By Friend”.
  • Use the same instructions under “Contact Information”.

Facebook Privacy - Control The People That Post To Your Wall

Controlling who posts to your wall is also an excellent option to do besides adjusting the visibility of the wall posting.

This is something that is not always necessary, but you may find there are certain people whom you Don"t want to post to your page.

  • Go to a section labeled “Wall Posts” in the “Profile Privacy settings page”.
  • This area allows you to completely disable a friend’s ability to post on your wall.

You can select specific friend lists that are able to post to your wall.

You can also limit the people that can posts any wall posts on your profile.

Facebook Privacy – Protecting Your Albums Is Also Important

This is a commonly overlooked area to protect. Uploading your photos doesn’t guarantee every photo you’ve tagged is accurate.

I know most people turn off their visibility of their tagged photos to their list of certain friends, but keep their photo albums public for anyone to see.

  • Facebook privacy for the invisibility of all your photos: you must do this on an album-to-album basis.
  • You can also manually configure the visibility of each album through their specific “Photos Privacy Page”.

This will allow you to insure only the people of your choosing are able to view your photos and yet you are able to store your photos indefinitely on Facebook with a feeling of safety.

Facebook Privacy – Take Out
Facebook Apps

It was recently announced that Facebook is disabling a feature temporarily that gave access to some of the most sensitive personal data it possesses to app developers such as your phone number and address.

Facebook quietly put this feature in, but is suspending it until it can somehow “fine tune” it.

It would have been nice to send an announcement and explanation to it’s members as to why they felt this shouldn’t be considered a privacy issue.

Also announced by Facebook, was that its app partners would be allowed to store your data on an indefinite basis rather than having to re-request it every 24 hours.

This is really all about network management and may not seem like a big change.

  • Once a member opts-in Facebook apps will then have almost unlimited access to your personal profile information

If that doesn’t scare you---It should!!!

  • Avoid and delete quizzes and apps you don’t use.
  • Go to “Account/Application Settings”, and change the list that drops down that displays “Authorized apps”.

All of these apps have access to your profile…Not good!

  • Click the X next to any app you don’t use and choose “Remove”.

Be aware of the choices you make in the posts or photos you put on your pages or what you allow others to post on your site.

Being more particular of the decisions you make and of the long term consequences, can go along way for your peace of mind.

Facebook privacy is a very important consideration for the security of our personal information. I don’t believe you have to become obsessive with this, but it is an excellent tool to use against scammers and becoming a victim of identity theft.

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