Facebook is a website that facilitates the communication between online account holders. Facebook is slightly different in that their target audiences are college students and business professionals. Nevertheless, although the stereotypes of these groups of people lend to the feeling that a site like this will be more organized, mature or safe, there are still those who target Facebook users and obtain valuable information from their profiles that can then be used against them.
In order to protect your security while using Facebook you need to know what privacy settings are available and how you use them. The first place that you should start in your mission to better understand the level of privacy that you will find on the Facebook website is to read the privacy statement. In Facebook’s privacy statement it lists what you are agreeing to when you sign up for that account. You should review this statement to make sure that you are comfortable with what Facebook discloses that they will do with your contact and profile information. Also be aware that Facebook receives its profits from advertisers. Therefore it is not uncommon to be solicited to frequently through both e-mail and while on the Facebook site. Some people are more than happy to sift through advertisements in order to benefit from a free service while others see the advertisements as, at very least, annoying.
After you have read through the Facebook privacy statement and have agreed to its terms, you can set up your account. The first thing that you will want to do after setting up your account is to explore the options that you have to enhance your privacy by looking through the options listed on the “Privacy” page (this should show up as a link once you are in your account).
In looking through the “privacy” page you will come across a number of possible security and privacy setting options. A few of these options are listed below but keep in mind that there are more options than just the ones listed here that you should look into and make sure to change.
Limited Profile — One of the more unique privacy settings that Facebook provides is called a Limited Profile. Setting up a limited profile allows the user to decide what profile information they want included in their limited profile as well as what individuals should be granted that limited profile access. From the “privacy” page simply follow the “Limited Profile Settings” link to get started. You will go through a process of selecting and de-selecting boxes that correspond to the content on your profile. Then you will search through the Facebook database to find those who you will mark as ones who will have limited profile access.
Control who can find you in searches — Go to the privacy page and then click on the search link. You should see a drop-down menu that gives you options of who can find you in a search (the default setting will say “everyone”). Simply perform a search for those that you want to be able to find you in a search and then decide what you want to allow these people to do once they have found you.
Profile viewing — You can control who is able to see your profile by going to the “profile” section of the privacy page.
Change all default settings. Facebook privacy settings are set to the default position until they are changed by the account user. The default position allows for complete access. Therefore if you do not want anyone who wishes to be granted complete access to your profile, you had better get into your account and make sure that none of the privacy settings are set to default.