Facebook is an individual’s archive. It consists of pictures of your children, your political views and, from time to time, some personal revelation.
You FB profile can be easily found and browsed by your future employers, the police and your partners. In addition, advertises constantly analyze your activity to create targeted ads.
Things get even more serious with Facebook’s new search tool. Now even strangers can learn more about you, your interests and even your favourite places.
The popular social network assures that users can limit the visibility of their activity. However, that is only partly true, because FB users are not able to forbid the website to include them in the search results. The good news is that the platform has enabled users to hide some of their photos and interest and, to a certain limited extent, to escape advertisers’ analysis.
The last time Facebook changed its privacy settings was towards the end of last year. Now the social website is pushing users to see them.
This new “pushy” campaign of Facebook comes in best time possible. Today, locking your profile and reviewing your privacy settings is more vital than ever. That is because the content you publish is now found much more easily.
Simply put, your privacy settings may reveal where you do your morning jogging or whether you have a child.
If you are a Facebook user, you are probably trying to find out a solution to this problem. To do that, you first need to give answers to these questions.
Why and how do you want people to find you?
Click on the option “who can see my stuff”. It is located in the upper right side of the page. After that click on “see more settings”. Search engines are programmed to show a link to your FB profile. However, you can forbid them to do that if you want.
Click on “activity log. This is the place where you can see all of your pictures, updates, posts and likes. If you want to limit the visibility of that information, you need to see the original privacy setting of the post.
Sometimes your posts can be seen if a friend has tagged you into them or has shared them on their wall. However, that depends on their privacy settings. That is why it is important to review and change, if necessary, the original settings of your posts.
In addition, if you think that you may have posted something inappropriate or embarrassing, you can go through your timeline and delete all the things you want. Yet, the only thing that will certainly take a post out of the search results is either its deleting or unliking them.
What do you want people to know about you?
Go to your personal profile page and then to “About me.” After that consider whether you want strangers to know your gender or the name of your partner. Make sure you hide your birthdate since hackers can easily use it to access your email, bank and social media accounts.
There is one nice tool which you can use. It was developed by a group of college students. Its name is Simplewash, previously known as Facewash. It scans your profile for incriminating and inappropriate posts.
Also, you can use Socioclean. This is an app that cleans up your posts. Currently, it is mainly offered to college students.
Do you want your Facebook activity to be analyzed by advertisers?
Facebook is all over the Internet. A recent research discovered that the social network’s widget is included into 1/5 of the 10,000 most visited websites. If you don’t like that, you can block it with some tools like Ghostery, Abine and DisconnectMe. You can install these tools as extensions to your web browser. After that, these apps will inform you of the number of trackers they have blocked.
In addition, Facebook tends to show you adverts depending on your favourite sites. That is possible with the help of third-party firms. They put cookies on your device and save your browsing interests and preferences. However, you can easily block that. Place your mouse courser over the “x” icon by the advertisement. Then a drop-down menu will appear. All you have to do is pick “Hide this ad.” You can also choose to block all ads of this company. Facebook does not control the ads itself. That is why if you want to block a particular type of advertisements you will need to visit the third party that governs the ads and keeps track of your browsed websites.
Whom can you add as a “friend”?
See what people you have added as Facebook friends. If your employer is among your friends, you may think about whether you want him or her see the photos from your last vacation. You have probably added people you have met only once. Keep in mind that the apps on their devices can track your Facebook and web activity.
There are a few sites that can help you stay safe from your “friends.” One of them is Privacyfix.com. This works as a browser plug-in and it will help you protect your information from the apps of your FB friends. Soon it will launch a tool to limit your visibility on Facebook’s search engine.
Another such website is Secure.me. It can protect you from all the apps that your friends use. For example, some of your Facebook buddies may use a photo application which, without their knowledge can gain access to the pictures visible only to your friends.
Maybe is time for you to reconsider the word “Facebook friend”. That term is rather incorrect since most of the people you add on Facebook are simply your contacts – people whom you happen to know, to communicate with or to have met… everything else but not your friends.