In the third and final part of this series we’re going to discuss privacy settings and the added security benefits of Facebook’s listing options.
Step one in securing your settings is to go to the “view settings” link to customize who can search for you, send you friend requests, messages, and see your activity.
If you want to keep your account super private, set everything for “just friends” or customize it even further to just a few friends or no one at all. However, if you want some extra security while still having a good experience, leave the search and friend request for everyone, and set everything else to just friends.
Step two: choose who can see the rest of your activities. This is done from the regular privacy settings screen, but you can also do this by either choosing to share your activity with just friends, or by making your own custom share list.
To change who can see your photo albums go to “customize settings” and then click the “Edit album privacy for the existing photos” link. We recommend that you set everything to “friends only” or click “Customize” to create a more specific share setting.
Step three (shown above), lets you edit the information you share with apps; we recommend that you remove the apps you don’t use often. To do this, go to the edit your settings link (indicated by Arrow 3 in the photo) to delete the apps you don’t use.
Next we recommend that you uncheck all of the “info accessible through your friends” boxes so that apps can’t access your data by going through your friends and also set the “Game and app activity” to “friends only.”
“Instant personalization” is when Facebook shares your account information with third party websites to make your experience even more personalized. We recommend that you uncheck this feature so that you are the one in control of how your data is shared with third parties to avoid having your information shared without your consent.
“Public search” lets you choose between displaying your profile on search engines or hiding it. If you use your real name on the account or don’t want your account found, we recommend that you also leave this field unchecked.
Lastly, step four allows you choose which Facebook users or apps you want to block and also allows you to manage the ones you’ve already blocked. This step is pretty simple and lets you completely block all forms of contact with troublesome, annoying or offensive users.
Lists make monitoring your sharing and privacy as easy as it gets, which is why no Facebook guide would ever be good without at least going over lists. Specifically: why they are good and how to go about using them.
So what are lists?
Lists categorize your Facebook friends into groups (lists), which allow you to share certain information with a specific group of people. For instance, you can share certain photos, albums, posts, and videos with one group of friends while making sure that your other friends don’t see those files.
You can also completely customize your entire profile and every piece of information one by one, discriminating between groups of people and lists of who gets to see what kind of information from your profile, allowing you to stay connected with everyone without having to be completely transparent.
To create a list, simply go to the top right and click the “Account button,” and then click “Edit Friends.” Then click “Create a List” to start choosing the people you want to add to that list.
Now, when you go to the “Edit Friends” page you will see the list on the left side of the screen, under the section where you see your friends and requests (the left side of the page). When you click on this list, you have the option to perform edits: change the list name, add or remove more people or delete the list itself.
Lists allow you to easily manage your information shares by creating stored lists of pre-screened users. Here’s a perfect example of this: say you have a photo album that you want to share with one group of people, but hide from the other; all you would have to do is to make the album visible from one list, and hide it from another list or other independent users.
What makes the list so useful is that you don’t have to go on adding or hiding your content from people one by one, but get to do it in a mass action instead, saving yourself the time, energy and effort.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of Facebook privacy and security, you have the tools and knowledge to better monitor your online presence. However, you still need to be careful when using this popular social networking platform. As more and more people join this site, it becomes an even more attractive target site for hackers and scammers.