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Facebook Privacy: Protect Yourself Now

Updated on November 25, 2012

I'm sure many of you have heard about the fast-growing, multi-million dollar social networking site, Facebook. Perhaps you know of someone who has a Facebook account, or perhaps you have one yourself. But do you even realize that while you post bits about your life, hackers can easily get into your account and steal your information? Now you know! So what can you do about it? Simply put: change your privacy settings.

Facebook has evolved over the years into what it is now: a site where you connect and share things with other people in the world. Useful for keeping in contact and up to date with world events, Facebook is certainly useful.

How to protect yourself on Facebook.

First of all, sign into your Facebook account. Next, on the top right hand corner of the screen, there is a link that says 'Account' . Click this link and then click 'privacy settings.' Now you are in the heart of all settings. This is where one must put on their thinking caps and decide what to share and what not.

The first link is 'Personal information and posts.' Here you can decide what can be posted on your Facebook wall and who can see it. If you are not satisfied with showing it to everyone (and everyone means you, your friends on Facebook and the other people you do not know), then change it to 'Friends only.' Still not happy? Click custom and select to show this information to yourself only. Once you are happy with the settings for this section, click 'back to privacy.'

Next is 'contact information.' Don't want random people contacting you? Change who can see what information. If you are still in doubt, remove the information from your Facebook page completely. Check all settings in this section and when you are done, click 'back to privacy.'

There is a link under privacy settings called 'Search.' Here you can choose if you want a search engine to index your profile page. Strictly speaking this is not recommended unless you are someone famous, a CEO for a company or someone who just wants to be found in a Google search. I searched myself in a Google search and boy was I shocked to see Facebook had me indexed! So just uncheck the box.

When you get to 'Applications and Websites' however, it is best to open the link you want to see in a new tab. To do this, right click on the button (eg:learn more) and select to view this in a new tab. Now that the link is opened in a new tab, switch to that tab by clicking on it. At the bottom of the page titled 'What you share' there is a link to view what applications you have authorised on Facebook. It is a good idea to go through each and every single one of these applications to ensure that you have added them. If in doubt, remove them by clicking the x.

Close the tab with the listed applications and return to the tab with 'Applications and Websites'. Go through the other items (each opened in a new tab) until you are satisfied with the results.

Now your Facebook profile is exactly how you have customized it! If you feel you want to change a setting, go back into privacy settings and change it again.

Do you feel safe on Facebook?

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    • profile image

      TheSablirab 7 years ago

      It's amazing what people don't know about Facebook in terms of settings; for the longest time I didn't have the privacy settings on the most secure setting. And then I realized that I should, especially when there are people out there who will take my info. What scares me is that people DO hack into others accounts and post spam, etc.

    • CiscoPixie profile image

      CiscoPixie 7 years ago from I'm in a world of my own, but aren't we all?

      Jill it's not too bad - all you must remember is to show to the world what you are comfortable sharing.. don't ever put up personal, identifiable information.

      Tatto it's good to be back :) missed you all terribly!

      Nell, i know that feeling.. i did it in the beginning too but now that i'm older and wiser i have a better view on what to share and what not! :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, I just started on facebook and to my horror realised that my address was on my wall page! I clicked madly to get rid of it and then eventually did it. but if I hadn't seen it everyone would have known where I live. I only did it to get a link to here, but I think I will delete it all. thanks for the info. nell

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      Great info CiscoPixie and good to see ya back writing again x

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for this great info Cisco!

      I am wary about joining Facebook because of some of the "horror" stories I read about it. So with this information, I just might give it a try.

      Thanks very much for sharing.

    • CiscoPixie profile image

      CiscoPixie 7 years ago from I'm in a world of my own, but aren't we all?

      thank you Micky Dee :)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Great info! Thank you!