Facebook users often don’t think about, or even realize for that matter, how their privacy settings are currently set. You simply assume that only your friends can read your wall posts, see your photos, or get your work, email, or phone information. In December of 2009, Facebook changed its privacy policies for its users to become more stringent. However, when Facebook prompted users to read and accept the new policy procedures and settings, they offered a recommended level of privacy which included allowing Facebook to publicize your private information, which many people chose without reading what it entailed. If you are one of those people who now have an open, public profile, follow these steps to restore your privacy.
Step One – Secure Your Facebook Wall, Photos, and Status Updates
This is probably the most important setting you need to change, to keep strangers from accidently getting to your profile and seeing intimate and personal details about your life. If you chose the recommended settings of Facebook, you authorized them to allow everyone to see your profile. This could be a perspective employer, an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, or a family member checking up on your activities that are reading about your life.
To change this setting, roll your mouse over the Account hyperlink which is located in the top right corner of your screen and click on Privacy Settings from the list. On the following page, click on Profile Information link. This screen will show you a variety of different options and who is able to see what you do.
The important links to change are: Posts by me, Posts by Friends, and Photos and Videos of Me. Change the settings from Everyone to Only Friends to make sure that you have complete control over what people are able to see on your page. I suggest changing all of your information on this page to Only Friends, unless you really don’t mind people knowing your name and reading about you, such as your Bio, Likes & Interests, Birthday, Education and Work, etc.
Step Two – Secure Your Public Information Setting That Keeps You Off Search Engines
To change this setting, roll your mouse over the Account hyperlink which is located in the top right corner of your screen and click on Privacy Settings from the list. On the following page, click on the Search link. Unclick the Public Search Results box to remain off of major search engines.
Taking the time to safeguard your privacy is underrated and not done often enough online. Just because you don’t see the online predators doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.