Swimming with Sharks as Safely as Possible
There really is no such thing as privacy when using social
media- The very reason it exists is to reveal, not conceal.
Stay abreast of your favorite website’s privacy policies.
They change- often- and in the case of Facebook, rarely
notify you of the fact. (I recommend Lifehacker and
Privacy Settings are only useful before you post. Once
something is online, even if you delete it later, it is no
longer within your control.
Assume every click, search, and second is recorded.
The Internet and You
Username and ID (Facebook URL)
These 4 Things will always be Publicly
Viewable on Facebook
Post Privacy- status updates, etc.
Profile Accessibility- who can find and “friend” you.
Timeline and Tagging- How others can post info or tag
pictures of you.
Apps and Websites- Whether or not Apps can have
access to your information (Danger Zone!)
Past Posts- limiting what people can see from you
Blocking Specific People and Apps
Facebook allows you to share posts with a dropdown
menu from your Timeline and News Stream. You may
You may also select a default setting for posts in the
Posting- Privacy Settings
These Settings Control:
Who can find you in a search
Who can send you a friend request
Who can send you messages
Friends of Friends (Semi Private)
These Settings Determine:
Who can post on your Timeline (Wall)
Who can Tag your posts and uploads (Tag: attach your
name as a link that leads to your profile and timeline)
Who can use your name to Tag their own posts and
Whether or not Facebook can use facial recognition
to automatically tag photos with your name that are
uploaded on any Timeline.
Timeline and Tagging
Games, applications and websites connected to your
Facebook account. Created by Facebook and third
All apps interact with your publicly available profile
information as well as your friends lists.
Most apps interact with the “basic information” of
you and your friends. Please be aware of what is
included in the “basic information” definition!
Apps and Websites-
List of Apps you Use
You can delete Apps from this List (You cannot “get back”
any information you already share with them, they just
can’t get more.)
You can look at the information each app interacts with
Manage what parts of your personal “basic information” your
friends can carry with them as they use apps.
Turn off or on “Instant Personalization” at partnering websites
to see what you friends have shared there.
Turn off or on search engine results for your name. (BTW results
show a portion of your Timeline in an image, potentially
compromising all your well laid privacy plans.)
As previously mentioned, each App shares your
Be careful when using Facebook as a sign in tool on
Those sites may be publishing your activity on your
timeline for all to see!
Make sure to adjust the settings for every App and
Website that interacts with your Facebook account.
Last note on Apps
You can enable limiting past posts to only friends.
Each post must be changed back manually for share it
with others, but the only option is “public.”
This will effect all past posts, starting back from your
This will not recall information that people have saved
or shared. (Remember, nothing will ever come back,
once its out.) I just means no one can access it via
your account anymore.
You can block people
they cannot “friend you”
see your profile
message you, etc.
You can block app invites from people
You can block specific apps
You can block invitations from certain people
Data You Share on Purpose
Uploaded photos or video
Data You Share on Purpose
Advertisers who work with Facebook
Data You Might Not Share on
No matter your privacy settings, if you write or
comment on someone else’s page or website, their
settings will determine who sees your post – not yours.
Your fiends will also drag your information along with
the when they use Apps…more on that later.
Friends – Ruining your best laid plans
Are you an immensely popular personality who doesn’t
want to “friend” the world but benefits greatly from
having constant access to throngs of fans?!
But if you are, the subscriber setting option may be for
you. Subscribers are like friends, except they only
receive public information and posts.
Subscribers- Advanced Friendship
Apps collect additional information.
Depending on the app, that information will be
used/shared in different ways.
Each App will ask you to “allow” certain interactions with
your personal information.
Apps- Advanced Users
You may turn off all Apps to secure your data (from
unintentional app usury, that is…Facebook and
Friends are still watching!)
Turning off Apps means no games or non timeline-
based services. (Boo! Where’s the fun in that?)
To provide you other/new Facebook services.
To connect you with people you may know or like
To advertise goods/services to you from companies
who pay Facebook for the privilege of your data.
How Facebook Currently Uses Your
Facebook claims to remove all personally identifying
information from the advertising data they collect
from you before they share it with advertisers
This may not be true of the companies that share
advertising data with Facebook. Be sure to check the
data collection and sharing practices of your favorite
Third Party Ads- In the future Facebook may make third
party advertisements that are publicly viewable. You
can pre-opt out in your accounts settings.
Ads and Friends- Facebook connects your profile
information to Advertisements based on your activities
using Social Plugins, such as “likes.”
Secure Browsing –https
Login Notifications- You can receive emails if your account
is accessed from an unknown device
Login Approvals- You can restrict logins from unknown
App Passwords- You can add additional password layers to
Recognized Devices- If you turn on Login Approvals you
can add devices to this list
Session Information- You can see where you have logged
in from in the past.
Want to look into your entire history? Facebook can
send you and archive of your profile. Expanded Archives
Photos or videos you've shared on Facebook
Your Wall posts, messages and chat
Your friends' names and some of their email
The Archive does not include:
Your friends' photos and status updates
Other people's personal info
Comments you've made on other people's posts
If you request an archive, be sure to save it in a safe
Deactivating your account- Deactivating does not delete your
account information. It simply turns your profile off, until you
choose to turn it back on.
Deleting your account- Deleting your account will permanently
delete you profile after 14 days. They claim that they will delete
you data after 90 days. Assume user data you have entered still
exists for Facebook’s use in Ad revenue and future innovations
(Copies retained for “technical reasons.”) However, Data is not
accessible via your profile. Furthermore, it cannot be retrieved to
recreate your profile should you change your mind. Keep in
mind, many posts you have made using your account will still
exist, but it will now be connected to a dead link.
Deactivating and/or Deleting your
1. Go to every site you access via Facebook Connect (ie. If you
sign on using FB) and close you accounts. If you access any of
these sites before the 14 day waiting period is up, FB will NOT
DELETE. (Feel free to sign back up the traditional way- after 14
days to be safe.)
2. Go to Facebook’s Deletion Page (Good Luck finding it through
your profile- Google it.) Click submit. Confirm that you are sure.
Enter login information and Captcha phrase.
3. Check you email to make sure you have received confirmation.
4. Do not visit Facebook for at least 14 days.
Deleting- Not as Simple as it Looks
Remember that you online identity is just as valuable as
your in-person reputation.
Would you say or do those things face to face?
When in doubt, don’t post it, nothing is really private
In most cases, with common sense and due diligence,
using Facebook is well worth the risks.
Now that you are Sufficiently