Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

Edited by Rubilyn Valdez, Graeme, Rebecca M., Karan Khanna and 4 others

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Facebook is a major social networking platform that provides communication opportunities to friends and family members. Over time since its founding in 2000, Facebook has served not only as a bridge to your long distance loved ones but also as a gateway to various commercial products and services.

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Advertising becomes easy and convenient with Facebook's different technologies. As you increase your social network, privacy issues also become apparent. Although Facebook is concerned about the privacy of its users and has updated its privacy settings interface many times, are you really safe? Here a few things which will help you to protect your privacy on Facebook.

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  1. 1
    Understand the difference between friends and acquaintances. Facebook is your social life and you should know with whom to socialize and to what extent. Adding a person who studied with you in the past or who meets you daily at your hobby class is fine, but adding someone who just met you at the train station or travelled with you for few minutes in the local bus is not. A friend is someone with whom you can share your feelings and other things of your life but you'll not want to share the same with a stranger. Understanding this difference will save your online identity towards the positive side.
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  2. 2
    Keep your Professional & Personal life separate. Many of us might be professionals who go to office every day. There is no need to add that person who is not even in the same department as you. It is good to make friends, but Facebook is a bit personal. You'll not want to share how you felt when your saw your family on the weekend and all those family pictures which were clicked over the weekend with people at your office.
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  3. 3
    Avoid people who say "Add me on Facebook". Facebook is so common that you'll hear a person saying "Add me on Facebook" instantly if you just have a 2 minute chit chat with him. Avoid these stalkers. Facebook is something through which you want to share things with your friends and family and not with a person who just wants to increase his number of Facebook friends. If he really wants to be a part of your social life, then let him become a part and add him only when you trust him enough.
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  4. 4
    Sharing your posts publicly or just with friends. The first thing to do is to make your posts visible only to your friends, so that if someone eye's your profile, he doesn't get to read your statuses or see your pictures. Do not make a post public unless and until you want the whole world to know about it. So change your settings right now. Even the visibility of past posts can be managed.
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  5. 5
    Make friend lists. You might be having friends from your high school, then your graduate school, your hobby classes, your neighbourhood, your office colleagues etc. Do they all want to know that you are planning a trip to the beach? The best way to protect your privacy is to make friend lists and customize your updates to a particular list. It will also be beneficial to you for chat as you choose which friend lists can see you online and which see you as offline.
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  6. 6
    Avoid joining groups and events. Another thing where your privacy really goes for a ride is when you join groups or accept that event invite. Groups and events can be private, but do you really want to show your Facebook profile to people whom you just don't know and they'll be there at the event. It will save you from unwanted friend requests, pokes and stupid messages. So, don't waste you precious time on these things and keep your privacy in mind.
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  7. 7
    Put Limited Cover Pictures. Facebook cover pictures are public and everyone can see them. We do not mean to say that do not put a cover picture at all. But all we are trying to say is that these pictures can be misused. We suggest you not to put up your own picture or your house pictures unless you want to invite some trouble your way.

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  8. 8
    Review your tags. Sometimes, your friends tag you in a status update or in a picture. Maybe you are not looking good in that picture or you don't want your office colleagues to know that you went to a bar etc. So, to save yourself from such situations, always have your settings in such a way that you review every tag made by your friends before it appears on your timeline. Otherwise you may be tagged unnecessarily even in pictures that do not belong to you or relate to you in any way.
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  9. 9
    View your profile as others see it. There is an option in Facebook settings which allows you to view your profile as public or as any of your friend. Make sure to see how your profile appears to public and what all information about you is visible. If you are concerned with a particular friend, you can also view what he/she can see on your profile by this option. If you find that there is something which needs to be hidden from a particular friend or a group of friends then that can be done from the settings option.
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  • Do not add anyone as your Facebook friend until you know them well and have developed a trust factor with them.
  • Use the feature by which you can see your profile as others see it. This will make sure that you have the required settings and certain things are hidden from those whom you do not wish to give the access to your private stuff.
  • Limit people who can send you a friend request. Instead of using "add as friend" button on your profile, use the follow button. It will make people see your public updates without being your friend.
  • You can make your profile searchable or non-searchable. If you choose to make your Facebook profile non-searchable then your profile will not appear in results even if someone has your email ID or searches you by your name. This is the best way by which you can keep yourself away from unwanted people.


  • Make sure that your location settings are off whenever you chat with someone. Otherwise, it will give your exact location to the person with whom you are chatting and this might lead to trouble.
  • Whenever you are out on vacations, make sure to post the updates only to your friends. Otherwise, anyone can easily come to know from your profile that you are out with your family. Thieves can easily break into your house while you are away.
  • Do not respond to messages from strangers as they can track down your IP address and know your location by knowing your Internet service provider. So make sure you only respond to people you know.
  • Beware of cybercrime, as there are people having fake Facebook profiles who just want to gather information and harm you.
  • Keep a strong password and beware of any breach attempts made on your Facebook profile. Scammers can access your account and use it in cybercrime in some or the other way. We are sure you don't want to get in any kind of trouble, so just beware of people whom you add as your friends.

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Article Info

Categories : Social Network

Recent edits by: Eng, Doug Collins, Robbi

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