Facebook can be a great way of interacting with others, keeping up with current events and sharing content with friends. But it can also be dangerous and if we don’t keep on top of our privacy, we can fall foul to any number of different Internet scams.
Sharing too much information with the online world is only asking for trouble, even if you don’t realise it or don’t think anyone will be interested in the information you share with others. Here are 5 privacy “must-do’s” that you really need to sort out on Facebook.
5. Make your account Friends Only
Perhaps the most important thing you can do on Facebook is to make sure all of your status updates and photos are set to friends only, which means only people you add on Facebook can see them. Giving strangers access to this information is not recommended since they can piece together lots of information about you which can lead to identity theft. You also potentially put your friends privacy risk as well since photos you upload or statuses you make involving them can be seen by anyone.
Go to your Settings and select Privacy and make sure the Who can see your future posts? option is set to Friends. Also use the option below that limits the audience of posts you may have shared in the past with friends of friends or public. This sets any previous posts you may have made to friends only as well.
4. Check for any public photos of you
Even if you upload photos with the ‘friends only’ setting applied, it doesn’t mean others are doing the same. This means if a friend uploads a photo with you in it and they have their settings set to public then that photo can be seen by anyone.
This isn’t good, especially given that potential or current employers as well as a number of other people often run social media checks to look for things like embarrassing or incriminating photos. So if you have any photos of you that are public on Facebook, it’s a good idea to see just what they are!
To check for any public photos of you, you need to go to your Activity Log. On Facebook for desktop, select Photos from the left side and then at the top next to Shared with: select Public. This brings up all the public photos of you on Facebook. Any embarrassing or unwanted photos? You can untag yourself, ask your friend who uploaded it to change their privacy settings away from public, or even ask for the photo to be removed all together.
3. Review posts you’re tagged in
It’s a good idea to review anything someone tags you in to make sure you’re happy with it being plastered on your newsfeed, so in Settings go to Timeline and Tagging and enable the Review posts friends tag you in option.
Frustratingly, this doesn’t stop people tagging you in content, and it also doesn’t stop it potentially being seen by others, but it limits the visibility of the content by not putting it on your timeline until you review and accept it. However, it does give you a good chance to decide if you really want to be tagged in that content and untag yourself if necessary.
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