Facebook PrivacySwimming with Sharks as Safely as Possible
The Internet and YouThere really is no such thing as privacy when using socialmedia- 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, rarelynotify you of the fact. (I recommend Lifehacker andMashable.)Privacy Settings are only useful before you post. Oncesomething is online, even if you delete it later, it is nolonger within your control.Assume every click, search, and second is recorded.
These 4 Things will always be Publicly Viewable on Facebook Name Profile Pictures Networks Username and ID (Facebook URL)
Privacy SettingsPost Privacy- status updates, etc.Profile Accessibility- who can find and “friend” you.Timeline and Tagging- How others can post info or tagpictures of you.Apps and Websites- Whether or not Apps can haveaccess to your information (Danger Zone!)Past Posts- limiting what people can see from you“old news.”Blocking Specific People and Apps
Posting- Privacy SettingsFacebook allows you to share posts with a dropdownmenu from your Timeline and News Stream. You maychoose: Public Friends CustomYou may also select a default setting for posts in thesettings menu.
Profile AccessibilityThese Settings Control: Who can find you in a search Who can send you a friend request Who can send you messagesOptions include: Friends (Private) Friends of Friends (Semi Private) Everyone (Public)
Timeline and TaggingThese 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 uploads Whether or not Facebook can use facial recognition to automatically tag photos with your name that are uploaded on any Timeline.
Apps and Websites-Games, applications and websites connected to yourFacebook account. Created by Facebook and thirdparties.All apps interact with your publicly available profileinformation as well as your friends lists.Most apps interact with the “basic information” ofyou and your friends. Please be aware of what isincluded in the “basic information” definition!
Apps SettingsList 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 withManage what parts of your personal “basic information” yourfriends can carry with them as they use apps.Turn off or on “Instant Personalization” at partnering websitesto see what you friends have shared there.Turn off or on search engine results for your name. (BTW resultsshow a portion of your Timeline in an image, potentiallycompromising all your well laid privacy plans.)
Last note on AppsAs previously mentioned, each App shares yourinformation differently.Be careful when using Facebook as a sign in tool onother sites.Those sites may be publishing your activity on yourtimeline for all to see!Make sure to adjust the settings for every App andWebsite that interacts with your Facebook account.
Past PostsYou can enable limiting past posts to only friends.Each post must be changed back manually for share itwith others, but the only option is “public.”This will effect all past posts, starting back from yourmost current.This will not recall information that people have savedor shared. (Remember, nothing will ever comeback, once its out.) I just means no one can access itvia your account anymore.
BlockingYou can block people they cannot “friend you” see your profile message you, etc.You can block app invites from peopleYou can block specific appsYou can block invitations from certain people
Data You Share on PurposeRegistration informationNameAddressBirthdateChat contactsPhone Number
Data You Share on PurposeStatus UpdatesUploaded photos or videoComments“likes”TagsGlobal Positioning
Data You Might Not Share on PurposeClicksSearchesIP addressesAdvertisers who work with Facebook
Friends – Ruining your best laid plans 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.
Subscribers- Advanced Friendship 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?! Me neither. But if you are, the subscriber setting option may be for you. Subscribers are like friends, except they only receive public information and posts.
Apps- Advanced UsersApps collect additional information.Depending on the app, that information will beused/shared in different ways.Each App will ask you to “allow” certain interactions withyour personal information.Examples: Spotify Pinterest Farmville
AppsYou may turn off all Apps to secure your data (fromunintentional app usury, that is…Facebook andFriends are still watching!)Turning off Apps means no games or non timeline-based services. (Boo! Where’s the fun in that?)
How Facebook Currently Uses Your Data To provide you other/new Facebook services. (Innovation) To connect you with people you may know or like (Social Networking) To advertise goods/services to you from companies who pay Facebook for the privilege of your data.
Advertising DataFacebook claims to remove all personally identifyinginformation from the advertising data they collectfrom you before they share it with advertisersThis may not be true of the companies that shareadvertising data with Facebook. Be sure to check thedata collection and sharing practices of your favoritesites.
Facebook AdsThird Party Ads- In the future Facebook may make thirdparty advertisements that are publicly viewable. Youcan pre-opt out in your accounts settings.Ads and Friends- Facebook connects your profileinformation to Advertisements based on your activitiesusing Social Plugins, such as “likes.”
Account SecuritySecure Browsing –httpsLogin Notifications- You can receive emails if your accountis accessed from an unknown deviceLogin Approvals- You can restrict logins from unknowndevicesApp Passwords- You can add additional password layers toAppsRecognized Devices- If you turn on Login Approvals youcan add devices to this listSession Information- You can see where you have loggedin from in the past.
Account ArchiveWant to look into your entire history? Facebook cansend you and archive of your profile. Expanded Archivesare available. Photos or videos youve shared on Facebook Your Wall posts, messages and chat conversations Your friends names and some of their email addresses
Archive ContinuedThe Archive does not include: Your friends photos and status updates Other peoples personal info Comments youve made on other peoples postsIf you request an archive, be sure to save it in a safeplace.
Deactivating and/or Deleting your Account 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.
Deleting- Not as Simple as it Looks1. 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.
Now that you are Sufficiently Freaked OutRemember that you online identity is just as valuable asyour in-person reputation.Would you say or do those things face to face?When in doubt, don’t post it, nothing is really privateonline.In most cases, with common sense and duediligence, using Facebook is well worth the risks.