How to protect your personal information, status or pictures on Facebook?
At a time when the 26 million Facebook users are worried about being the victim to the bug that may reveal their personnal messages, here's a short guide to properly protect your privacy on the social network.
Filter you personal information upon registration
- Upon registration, Facebook is picky and demands a lot of accurate data. As a reminder, however, only the name, email address, date of birth and gender are required.
- Subsequently, the social network will require more information - employment, education, place of residence, relationship status, religion, political opinion, etc.. - but all these are optional to use the social platform. However, if the user decides to enter these informations, it is possible to restrict their visibility
- On your "About" page, for each category select "edit", then right-click on the logo. Then choose whether to make the information "public", accessible only to "friends" or "Private", thus restricting their visibility to a particualr group of "friends".
Monitor the published status
When updating your status, it is important to verify who can access these information and who can't. Click on the logo at the bottom of sharing dialog box, and select whether to make the message "Public" or "Private". Note that, you can modify the privacy settings of status that have been already published.
Monitor your "Likes"
- Introduced in early 2009, the "Like" button is one of the real successes of Facebook. However, with time, the "interests" stacks up and say a lot about you. *Through your profile page, you can view all of your "I like".
- To hide your interest to some people, simply select "edit" then for each category to select the sharing type.
Monitor your photos
- For each photo published, it is possible to choose its visibility. When publishing, you must click on the logo below to share box and choose to "public" or "Private".
- For photos already published, open the image and click "edit" and select the sharing type. The parameters of all the photos in the same album can be changed in one click.
- If one of your friends identifies you on a photo, it is not possible to delete it. However, you can withdraw identification by clicking on "options" after opening the image. Incidentally, it is possible to report contacts in case of "harassment" oe "scam"...etc.
- These tips equally apply to the videos.
Monitor your friends
It is possible to choose who shall have access access to your friends list. On the page listing your "friends", select "edit" then next to "who can see your friends list" set the sharing type.
Monitor comments from your friends
Your friends like to talk about you on Facebook? You can limit the damage. In the "Privacy Settings", choose "Change settings" and choose who can post on your wall and who can see the publications.
Monitor your friends lists
To facilitates the use sharing settings, it is possible to create "friend lists".
- Optionally, you can use predefined lists available on Facebook (close friends, acquaintances, family ...etc) or create your own lists (via the "create a list" button).
Monitor friend requests
- You can become (almost) invisible on Facebook. Go to the "Privacy Settings" > "Applications and Websites".
- Click on the Edit button next to "Public Search" and choose your settings.
Monitor geolocation features
Facebook allows mobile users to geotag their messages and photos.
- These informations are pinned on a world map, accessible from the profile page.
- If you don't want to be geotagged when making a post /updating a status, make sure that pin icon next to it does not show your position.
Monitor third-party applications
Some Facebook applications won't hesitate to publish constantly updates of your status.
- In the "Privacy Settings", go to "applications and websites".
- A list of all third-party applications that have already been linked to your Facebook account shall be displayed.
- From there you can edit the settings for your application individually.