Do you know what information you are sharing with your friends through your Facebook profile? Have you viewed your page as a visitor so you know what the public can view when landing on your profile? We’re going to walk you through the Privacy Checkup which Facebook recently launched on the desktop, and guide you through how to secure your Facebook page while using your mobile device as well.
How to Beef Up Your Security on Facebook
Recently, on many accounts, users have seen an alert that walks them through a Privacy Checkup on their profile. Even if you haven’t seen this option appear on your page, I’ll walk you through how you can easily update your settings, or the settings on your child’s profile, to beef up security on Facebook.
Did you know you can change who sees each of your Status Updates or Photos? Creating lists will help cater your audience for you. I have a list for all local (San Diego in my case) friends in case I’m sharing something specific to our area. I have a Family list which enables me to share personal Photos more frequently, a list of friends I know from high school, a separate list of College Friends, etc. since we all know Facebook makes it more challenging for us to see everyone’s updates in real time. This helps me see what they’re all up to by having these separate lists, while allowing me to reach them without clogging the feed with updates shared with everyone I’m connected to.
We’ll get to how to create these lists later. For now, make sure you have your settings set to Friends if that’s what you prefer. If Public is an option, consider whether or not you want to allow people to Follow you if you don’t want to put them on your Friends list.
You’ll see from the screenshot I’ve included, that I share many apps with Only Me, which makes me feel more comfortable using Facebook to login to third party sites. In case they should ever post to Facebook without my realizing it, only I will see it. You can delete apps you don’t recognize or want to be connected with by simply clicking on the X to the far right. You can change who sees the app updates by selecting the down arrow for more choices.
If you want to see what Activity you’ve shared with your Friends in the past, not to worry. You can still go back and change settings on things you’ve already shared on your Timeline. From your personal profile, select View Activity Log to see what’s been shared with whom. You can sort the Activity Log by type of Activity, from Posts You’re Tagged In to Groups, Events, Games and more.
Yes, in case you’re wondering, unless you’ve turned the options off, each comment, Like and activity shows up to your Friends, both on the Timeline itself and that little ticket to the right sidebar, which pretty much everyone I know dislikes.
If a Group you’re in is not Secret or Closed, there are ways that others outside the group can see what comments and discussions are taking place. This is one that people tend to not realize and you really have no control over unless you’re an Admin for the Group. Of course, once you switch a Closed Group to Secret (invite only and no one else can find it in search), you can’t change it back.
Your Personal Information
Under the About section of your profile, Friends and those who Follow you may be able to see personal information, including your phone number, email addresses and date of birth. In case you don’t mind sharing how old you are going to be on your next birthday, think about how often you’re asked for your DOB as a security measure for accessing bank accounts and other financial information. I choose to leave this off my page, but if someone really wants to reach me by phone, by all means, call me. I probably won’t answer it anyway if I don’t recognize the number.
I recommend using someone else’s profile you trust, like a spouse or sibling, to see what shows up on your profile page which you might not realize is there. From seeing which Groups you’re a part of to which Movies, Books and Games you’ve Liked, Facebook knows way too much about us these days.
Teens and Facebook Security
Beefing up your Facebook Security is something you should do often, as their settings continually change, but it’s just as important for you to walk through these features with your children as soon as they setup their Facebook profile. Of course, children need to be at least 13 years of age to have an account, so if you feel comfortable with them, having access to their account (so they don’t create an Everyone But Parents list) is essential for keeping the safe and ensuring they don’t share TMI which could always come back to haunt them later on.