Facebook, by nature, is a place where we share lots of personal information. Photos from our last vacation, thoughts about things going on in the world and even health updates if a family member is undergoing surgery—they may all end up on our walls and in our status updates.
So it makes sense to ensure that only the people you want to see that personal information have access to it. First, don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know that well or those with whom you don’t want to share this sort of information. Second, make sure your privacy settings are set exactly the way you want them to be.
You can read about basic privacy settings and tools here, including how to select an audience for the things you share on your Facebook page, how to manage the way you connect with friends and family, and how to review the things other friends tag you in (photos, articles and comments).
It’s important to know that Facebook is only as private as you make it. So if you just want your friends and family to be able to see photos that you post, for example, you have to set your privacy settings for photos to “Friends”. If you tag a friend in one of your photos, note that every person who that friend knows will also be able to view the photo.
The same goes for your general privacy. If someone who isn’t a friend searches for you on Facebook, you can determine how much of your Facebook profile that person (or anyone who isn’t your friend) can see by adjusting your privacy settings. Perhaps you only want non-friends to be able to see your profile photo and name, or maybe you’re comfortable with strangers seeing the names of all your friends and some portions of your wall too. The amount of privacy you want is up to you, but you have to make sure to select your settings to get it.
If you have questions about the way your personal data is used and stored by Facebook, click here to learn more about what happens to the information you share with Facebook and how they protect it. The Facebook page, “Facebook and Privacy” is another good resource for those with questions about privacy and security.
Don’t forget to let common sense be your guide. Don’t share your password with anyone, and be cautious about sharing personal information, especially if it could be used to identify or locate you in person. If you’re a parent or a grandparent, make sure to review the privacy settings of any teens who are using Facebook, and visit the Facebook family safety center for privacy tips, tools, resources and advice on how to keep everyone safe while using Facebook.
Please note that these are just some of the steps you can take to ensure that you are safely enjoying your Facebook experience. It is up to each individual user to take the necessary steps to make their online experience as safe and secure as possible.
409626 CAN/US (04/15)