Top 10 General Security Tips for Facebook

Facebook Logo - Large SquareTop 10 General Security Tips for Facebook

Facebook is growing at a rapid rate, and now with Facebook open graph, they are looking to “socialize” all the world’s large webpages to be custom to your profile and social network.

So how do we protect our privacy?

[1] The #1 Facebook security tip is to set your Facebook privacy settings.

If you don’t know how just visit this step by step Facebook privacy settings post.

Once you have your privacy settings set – consider the following tips:

[2] Think carefully about who you allow to become your friend

Once you have accepted someone as your friend they will be able to access any information about you (including photographs) that you have marked as viewable by your friends. You can remove friends at any time should you change your mind about someone. Remember by making someone your friend, you are now giving them full access to majority of the information you post on Facebook.

[3] Use Your Friend Lists

You can organize your friends into different lists (church, co-workers, friends, family, monsters etc). Then you can create different accessibility and privacy options for each one meaning specify what they can and cannot see.

[4] Careful What You Share On Your Profile!

Avoid putting in any info you don’t need to share! No Address, no Phone Number, no Email. If you choose to do so make sure in your privacy settings ONLY friends can see it. (then be selective about who you friend).

[5] Careful What You Share – Photos & Videos!

Careful what photos or videos you post. Once it’s on the web, it’s on the web. Also be sensitive to the pictures and videos you share of your friends. It is embarrassing? Incriminating? Immature? Or just a really bad picture of them? Save your friend the drama and don’t post it. Imagine if someone posted such a picture and tagged you for all the world to see.. (or just friends if you diligently went through the privacy settings!).

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[6] Careful What You Share – On your Facebook Wall

Depending on your privacy settings, lot of people may have access to your wall, so becareful what you post. Examples:

  • Don’t declare your entire household will be off to vacation for a specified time. Burglars would love that info.
  • Don’t say anything potentially embarrassing

[7] Want to Avoid Old or Bad Connections?

  • Remove yourself from facebook and public search results (in privacy settings).
  • Use an unidetifiable picture. So they can’t tell whether you are the right “John Kim”.. easier to ignore as well, then they assume it’s the wrong one.
  • Don’t put identifiable info on your profile (address, IM, email, work..)
  • If all fails, just get off Facebook and regain hours of your life

[8] Avoid Useless & Random Apps

Facebook application sometimes requests information, others automatically posts things to your wall. You may get invitations to try out apps from others – but unless you know what it is just avoid it altogether. By nature, Facebook apps are made to utilize your profile information and social connections.

[9] Leave out Full Birth date

Do not leave your full birthdate (your birthdate is valuable information) leave out the year.

[10] Monitor Your Children

If your children use it, you need to monitor what they say. They are not educated in what kind of info is bad to share. (ex. “i am home alone”, “we are leaving tonight to go for a 2 weeks vacations”). You should also be weary about who is talking to them and vice versa. You should setup their privacy settings and then “friend” your children. Even better – just make it a rule you have their password so they can login whenever they want.

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[Bonus #11] Conclusion: Better Safe than Sorry

It’s simple. Don’t say, write, post up anything that is even slightly embarrassing. When you put info up on the web, there is always the possibility someone will find it. Your friends, your co-workers, your boss, future recruiters, your mom, your arch enemy, your political opponent, the guy 10 years from now try to sue you, some stalker, some guy planning to rob your home, guy looking for more identification for identify theft and so on. Yes some of these are ridiculous – but again, better safe than sorry. Save yourself potential future headache by playing it safe and thinking carefully about what you post.

Hope this was helpful.
Facebook is looking to simplify their Privacy Settings again so we’ll see what happens next.

Please let us know your thoughts!

  • What other potential dangers are there by sharing your info?
  • Any other general tips about safe facebook use?
  • Parents! How do you monitor your children?

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