I consider myself a writer and for me to build a brand and a following, I use my Facebook as an extension of my blog. I do this, because I don’t mind that my statuses can be viewed by strangers. But, some people do care if private events can be seen by others, but sometimes they just don’t know what can be seen.
During one of my mastermind group meetings , I pulled up Facebook profiles and everyone was shocked. They didn’t realize so many things were available to the public. And it’s not their fault, Facebook tends to change things, but it is up to you to every month or so go into your account and privacy settings and make adjustments. It is also up to you, to be mindful of what you post and what groups you join. Make sure you check the privacy of the group and do know, all brand pages are public.
Below are some ways you can adjust your privacy settings on Facebook or just be mindful of what people can see.
Check how your profile is viewed
If you go to your profile and click the wrench next to activity log, you will see ‘view as’ click on ‘view as’
You now can view your Facebook how the public sees it. This is a good starting point, because you can decide what you don’t want to be seen and make adjustments and you can adjust your privacy settings accordingly. Also based on what you view, you can decide to add friends to different lists. Maybe you will put your coworkers under one list. You can adjust your Facebook so that certain people can only see certain parts of your Facebook. But, above all, it is important to see what your profile looks like to others, especially the public (people who are not your friends on Facebook).
Check if the post is public, friends only, friends of friends, or custom
I would say 95% of my posts are public. The other 5% are probably statuses about a sporting event or something that is not relevant to my blogging audience. Why is this important to know? Knowing the visibility of a post will determine if you make a comment or like. You can tell the visibility by looking next to the time stamp. If the symbol is a globe, it means the post is public. If the symbol is of two people it means only friends can see it. If the symbol is of three people, it means that friends of friends can see the post. If the symbol is of a wrench, it means that person customized their settings. It could mean only a certain group can see the post- maybe just classmates or relatives. You can’t tell what the category is, but you can tell based on the symbol it is a select group of people.
There are several ways you can make adjustments to your Facebook
Click the wrench in the upper right corner and go to account and privacy settings. Here you can adjust everything. Play around with the settings. Make sure you go through every singe option. It is tedious, but there are random options and it is easy to miss the different ways you can make your account more private.
Check your activity log
If you want to take the time and go back and check what shows up on your Facebook, go to your activity log on your profile page. In this area, you can see based on the symbols what can be seen by people. Maybe you didn’t realize the link you liked could be seen by friends of friends or the pubic, etc. But, in this area you can delete or hide the activity from your timeline. It is important to know, even if you hide something from showing up on your profile timeline, it will still show up in the news feed area.
Check your about section
If you go to your profile and click ‘update information’, you can click on the drop down arrows and choose what shows up on your profile and to who. You can also pick and choose what categories can show up on your profile.
Keeping your life private on Facebook takes finesse
If you are worried about what people see, you might want to become a lurker on Facebook. Just watch, don’t click, like, comment, or join anything; but that ruins the fun of social networking and communicating with people all over the world.
But, I wonder if any of this finesse really means anything? The NSA is collecting all our data. Even if you hide from your friends, you can’t hide from the government. You also in some cases can’t hide from corporations who are purchasing your data, adjusting advertisements to suit your interests, and coercing you to make purchases.
It is almost a lose-lose situation. You might ask what was the point of reading this post? Well, the point is, even if you comment on a friends status, you can rest easy that if a person clicks on your name to investigate more, they won’t get to far because you have adjusted your settings.
I hope these tips helped you learn more about privacy on Facebook. This was not an exhaustive list, but it does highlight the most frequent ways I’ve seen people’s information on Facebook.
What tips can you share?
An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.
Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre