Can’t shake the never ending Facebook trail? Here’s a suggestion.

January 26th, 2011 No comments

As we all know Facebook has taken over the internet.  It is currently the second most visited site and has roughly 500 million users.  With all the publicity and success that Facebook has had, they have also had a significant amount of backlash from users about privacy concerns.  So what can you do? The first and obvious solution to your concerns would be to cancel your account.  This may seem like the easiest and quickest solution, but it really isn’t.   Facebook is everywhere, most people you know use the site, and it is used as a means of communicating with current as well as past friends and schoolmates.  Not only would you be losing your access to those people and the information they post, but also missing out on opportunities with many organizations.  More and more organizations are joining Facebook’s Connect Network and incorporating the site’s development tools into their own web pages.  There are over two million sites on the web that you can sign up with by using your Facebook password and login and that number is only growing with each passing day.  It is getting to the point where not having Facebook can be a disadvantage and can lead to missing out on great opportunities.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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By now you are probably thinking, “Well how do I keep my Facebook account, receive all the benefits it provides, while at the same time protecting myself and my privacy?”

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It’s rather simple.  Make yourself invisible, well nearly invisible.  You can set up your account to make it where only your existing friends can see your photos, account activity, or where you checked in.  Changing your settings to only allow friends this access will protect your privacy rights and ease those concerns, while still allowing you to use all of the great features Facebook has to offer.

So how do you change your privacy settings?  First go to Facebook and get yourself logged in.  Next, in the top, right-hand corner click on “Account.”  Then proceed to ‘Privacy Settings’ page and click “View Settings.”  On this page it will give you a list of different attributes to the site and what your current setting is for those particular features.  Change all of those to ‘friends only’.  Next click on ‘Customize Settings.’   From this page you can change your settings on what you share with people.  Change those to ‘friends only.’ Now for the third-party websites and applications.  Return to the ‘Privacy Settings’ page and click ‘Apps and Websites’ then choose the option to edit.  This page shows you exactly what third-party websites or applications you have given access to.  Check this list and remove any that you don’t want to have access to your information. Another setting to change on the ‘Apps and Websites’ page is under ‘Instant Personalization.’  Click on ‘Edit Settings’ and uncheck the box at the bottom of the page to block other websites from obtaining your information.  The last line of defense is also found on the ‘Apps and Websites’ page.  Go to ‘Public Search’ and click ‘edit’.  From here just uncheck the box and this will stop search engines from finding your Facebook profile.

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So if you are having any privacy concerns in regards to your Facebook account or just simply don’t want people to find you very easily, just go into your settings and try some of the above suggestions.  You certainly don’t have to apply all of these great tips, but even doing a few will help ease those concerns and allow you to keep that increasingly important Facebook account.