When was the last time you checked your Facebook Privacy Settings? Facebook has been tweaking its’ terms of service since the company’s inception. However, over the years the privacy settings have become more complicated. Despite our laissez-faire attitude for clicking “I agree to the Terms & Conditions”, most of us do care about who sees our personal information.
The latest privacy policies are supposed to make it easier to understand, yet most users are left confused and irritated. Still it is the user’s responsibility to take a few minutes to set some restrictions on their privacy settings. Below are some important settings you may want to review:
- What do others see – If you’re not sure, click on the gear icon in your photo cover (top-right), choose “who can see my stuff?” then go to “view as”. This will show you what parts of your profile are public. If you wish to see what a particular friend can see, click View as Specific Person at the top and type in a name. Click X to return to normal browsing.
- Check your activity log – Review photos and posts you have been tagged in the activity log. Choose who can see posts you’ve been tagged in, go to settings, timeline and tagging and then edit “Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in on your timeline?” You can also choose to review photos and post before they appear on your timeline by turning on timeline review. This only controls what is allowed on your timeline. Posts you’re tagged in still appear in search, news feed and other places on Facebook.
- Clear your search data – click on gear icon, choose see more settings, click on search (magnifying glass at top), click on recent searches/edit and choose what you wish to clear or you can remove all data.
- Stop Facebook from ad targeting – Facebook has the ability – to use your app and website data for ad targeting. This has been set to default for all users. To opt out on desktop, go to the Digital Advertising Alliance. They will scan for participating companies that have enabled customized ads for your browser. You can then choose to opt out for select ones or opt out for all. This doesn’t guarantee the individual sites will honor the agreement.
- Turn off Search-engine access – anyone can stumble on your Facebook page and possibly view information from you page unless you go to privacy and set “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline”? Now only when someone searches in Facebook will they find your Facebook profile.
- Restrict Your Apps – the games and apps you are using in Facebook could gain access to your personal information in Facebook. To prevent this click on “Apps” you will now see a list of all your apps. Go through them and select “App Visibility” to “Only Me”. Or choose Anonymous Login, this option will allow you to use apps without sharing your personal information. However, it is in beta and not all applications will support it at this time.
As standards of privacy in the digital age continue to transform and mutate your awareness and diligence to further educate yourself will be your best protection. So take a few moments and go through all of your privacy settings and change them to a level that provides you comfort as you navigate online.
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