Chances are that you are on Facebook. Or, if you’re not, you soon will be. After all, Facebook boasts over 400 million users across the world (Facebook Press Room) and is growing rapidly.
We all have our own reasons for joining—we want to connect with old friends, find new friends, or we give in to pressure from friends or family that are already there (Groundswell, 2008). However, too many of us join Facebook without giving much attention to our Facebook privacy settings.
A Consumer Reports survey, released yesterday, says that 52% of social network users posted “risky information” during the past year. Interestingly, the number was 56% among Facebook users. A New York Times analysis of this Consumer Reports survey says the report “inadvertently reveals that Facebook users clearly have no idea about how much they’re publicly sharing on the network.”
To maintain a higher degree of Facebook privacy and safety, Consumer Reports provided seven tips for safer Facebook experience:
- Don’t use a weak password.
- Don’t list a full birth date.
- Don’t overlook your privacy controls.
- Don’t post a child’s name in a photo caption.
- Don’t post when you are away from home.
- Don’t allow yourself to be found by a search engine.
- Don’t allow youth to use Facebook without supervision.
Facebook has recently implemented privacy changes that you may not be aware of or understand. So, ask yourself: What is my desired level of privacy? and, do I know how to achieve this level of privacy on my Facebook page? Then, adjust your Facebook privacy settings accordingly. Here’s a look at how to access and change your Facebook privacy settings:
- In the top right corner of your Facebook page, click on “Account” and then “Privacy Settings.”
- Click on each section of the Privacy Settings page and adjust each setting as needed.
- Who do you want to see your personal information? You are given four choices: Everyone, friends of friends, only friends, or only specific friends.
Because Facebook’s privacy changes usually require users to opt out rather than in, it’s a good idea to continue to check your settings once a week to see if anything has changed. You can also follow the Facebook blog to keep up on privacy changes.