At last count, there were over half a billion people using Facebook. At this moment, it is the largest site of people gathered together in our current history. Those who use Facebook love it; however, being a part of such a large social network has its security and privacy issues. These five simple steps can help to keep your information private while still enjoying the social networking of Facebook.
1. Do Not Use Facebook Places
The reason for Facebook Places is the app announces to all your friends and relatives where you are at any given moment. Unfortunately, that gives someone a reason to come find you and that might not be a good thing. If you choose to use Facebook Places do not leave the default set to Everyone seeing your profile. Everyone means everyone on the internet not just your friends. Open up your Account tab and select Privacy Settings. From here, you can tell Facebook who you want to see your profile. To disable Facebook Places completely, click on the Privacy Settings and click on Account Settings. Where it says ‘Things I share’ is where you will find Facebook Deals. Click on the edit and disable the application.
2. Stopping Items Posted on Your Facebook Profile
Posting on Facebook is what many find the most enjoyable. However, you should have control over what is posted. Using the lock feature can help. Before sharing a photo or a detail with others by clicking the Share button, click the drop-down menu above and select who can see your details. You will have the option of letting Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, or Customize in seeing your photo or information.
3. Secure Your Application Activities
Quite a few of the games on Facebook reward those players that can recruit friends to play. Some of these games will even post on your friend’s wall what you have been doing. These posts just aggravate your friends and might embarrass you if they knew you were playing Farmville all day. To stop this, click the Privacy Settings page and at the very bottom you will find ‘Game and application activity’, click Edit Your Settings and select Custom from the menu. Choose Only Me in the box.
4. Turn Off the Facebook Applications
Every Facebook app can access your profile information. The policy of Facebook and the developers is that they cannot use the personal data off the Facebook site. However, once an app developer has your personal data you have to trust they will not abuse it. To block all apps on Facebook, select Privacy Settings and click Edit your settings under ‘Applications you use’ then select Turn off all platform applications.
5. Control Your Profile Through Your Friends
Since your friends have access to your profile information they could repost it or share it without you knowing it. To secure your profile with friends click Privacy Setting and then go to ‘Applications and websites’ and click on Edit your setting and Info accessible through your friends. You can deselect the items your friends can share of your profile.
Deleting Your Facebook Account
If the paranoia about your security on Facebook is more than you can stand, you can always opt to delete your Facebook account. In the Account Setting Page, you can deactivate your account. This will make your Facebook account dormant and your profile will still exist. To eliminate your Facebook account you will have to find it in the Facebook Help pages. It takes about 14 days to remove your account and once eliminated you can never use your Facebook account again.