In part two of this series we will look at likes, interests, and protecting your settings from outside marketers.
Likes and Interests, or Arts and Entertainment, Sports, and Activities and Interests, depending on which Facebook displays for you, are normally filled out by what you “liked” and can be edited from this section. You can also choose to write your own. But do be careful as to what you post up as they can be displayed on your account and be used against you by your friends and others who disagree.
As for phone numbers, it would be very unwise to list your real phone number as it can be used to annoy, abuse, or to spam you. A good alternative for your real phone number would be to enter a Google phone number or Skype Out number. This way people can reach you but can’t spam your real number.
However, if you really want to keep your privacy on lockdown, it is recommended that you leave the phone number field blank. As for address field, it is pretty much a no-brainer that you should leave this section blank to avoid compromising your privacy and jeopardizing your safety.
And lastly, there’s the website field, which is pretty much self-explanatory. If you want people to see a specific website like your personal blog, or a website you frequent, you can enter it here. If you do not want to share this information, simply leave it blank.
After you’ve finished editing your profile information, you should move on to edit your “sharing” privacy settings; this section determines who gets to see your posts and wall activity. To get started, go to your profile and click the “lock” icon next to the “Share” button.
Choose either the “friends only” or “customize” options to gain even more control over who gets to see your activity. If you choose the custom privacy setting, you can choose to display your activity to friends, specific people, lists, or yourself only. You also have the added option of hiding your activity from specific people. Also, make sure to check the “make this my default setting” box and then save settings.
Another tip to keep in mind when creating Facebook events, is to make sure events are set to “Private.” These are defaulted as public and can be seen by the entire Facebook user community. If you do not set your events as private, you may encounter a lot of party crashers, who could possibly overrun your home, damage and destroy your property and could pose a threat to your safety and the safety of your guests.
Next we will discuss how to adjust your account settings for maximum privacy and security.
To find your account settings, go to the account button at the top right, and then to account settings. You then should focus on your password strength; make sure it is one you do not use for your other online accounts to avoid a mass-scale hack should it be compromised. To improve your password’s strength, use symbols, numbers, upper and lowercase letters and make sure it’s at least six characters.
Next is the “Account Security” tab. Click on the tab to expand it and view more options.
We recommend that you choose “On” for the login notifications, which will notify you each time someone accesses your account. And below is the account activity section, which allows you to see which computers and devices accessed your account and also lets you sign those devices out.
Next is the Networks settings. This is where you allow a certain group like classmates or coworkers to find you or see a portion of your profile, which depends on how you’ve set up your security settings. To make sure only certain people see your account, make sure to fill out your network completely, and be specific. For example, if you write that you attend a certain university, you should indicate your major and your year, this way your peers can find you, but you can keep your information hidden from the university’s staff members.
Notifications - Facebook’s default settings are set up to send you emails each time you receive comments or someone posts something on your wall. To keep your email account orderly and free from an excessive flow of alert notifications, uncheck the email boxes. And it is also a good idea not to receive text message alerts because your phone might get lost or stolen. Plus, depending on your service provider, you may incur charges for text messages sent to your home.
Payments are used for funding Facebook games and applications like Farmville. If you do choose to pay for these applications and games, make sure not to store your credit card or PayPal account details on your account, which is a good precaution to take in case a hacker gains access to your account.
And lastly there is the Facebook Ads section; this is where advertisers can use your information and photos to create ads. For your own benefit and privacy, we recommend that you switch all of the settings to “No one” so that advertisers don’t use your identity for their own profit.
In the final part of this series we will discuss managing your privacy settings. We will also explain what Facebook lists are, and how they can be utilized to maximize your security.