When was the last time you reviewed your Facebook security settings? With Facebook in the limelight over misuse of its user data, this post explains how to review and adjust those settings.
Facebook has certainly been getting plenty of publicity lately. But the reason why couldn’t be worse.
Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that combines data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis for electoral processes used Facebook’s user data to interfere in the U.S. presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The situation has become so serious that #DeleteFacebook became a trending hashtag on Twitter, there are calls for Mark Zuckerberg’s resignation, and the Fair Trade Commission is investigating Facebook. See Facebook Is Being Investigated By The FTC Over Mishandling People’s Personal Information.
While you’re at it, also read this post: Facebook knows literally everything about you.
Finally, I loved this quote from this post, Facebook Has Had Countless Privacy Scandals But This One Is Different:
The story will endure not because of animosity toward political data use but because it perfectly touches upon a deeper anxiety about our online privacy that’s been building for years. Indeed, the Cambridge Analytica scandal could well be the catalyst for a much bigger targeting revolt — a full-scale personal and public reckoning that looks at the way we’ve used the internet for the last decade. It’s a moment that forces us, collectively, to step back and think about what we sacrificed for a more convenient and connected world. And on an internet that feels increasingly toxic it’s hard to look at the tradeoffs we’ve made and feel like we’re getting a fair deal.
What can you do? Strengthen your security settings. I’m going to show you how right now.
Tighten Your Security Settings
Go to your profile, click the arrow in the upper blue taskbar, and click settings.
Now you’ll be looking at your General Account Settings. Click Privacy, the third row from the top.
You’re now at Privacy Settings and Tools.
First, decide on who can see what you post on your profile. I used to have this setting at Public but I’ve become more conservative of late, and now only Friends can see what I post. You need to decide how transparent you want to be. Even if you like your current setting, click Edit because you’ll see other settings when you navigate to the next frame.
First, decide if you want to keep your current setting or allow your Timeline to be public.
The next setting takes several steps. As you can see, I only allow Friends to see my status updates. I also activated the setting that requires that I see and authorize posts in which a friend tagged me before they can appear on my timeline. To activate this setting:
Click Use Activity Log on the line that states “Limit the audience for posts and things you’re tagged in.”
Then click the gear shift next to Notifications.
Under Timeline Review, click Enabled and then Close.
Note: You can also adjust this setting by going to Timeline and Tagging. See bottom of this post.
If you previously had your activity setting at Public and changed it to Friends, you’ll need to select Limit Past Posts to prevent people who aren’t Friends from seeing previous posts.
Next, review these settings of mine:
You need to decide how people can find and contact you. I used to let anyone contact me, but I recently changed my setting to Friends of Friends. Also, the only people who can see my friends list are my friends. However, anyone who used the email address connected to my Facebook account can find me on Facebook, and I still want search engines outside of Facebook to link to my profile.
The last setting I just mentioned is fairly liberal but I’m an author and a social media strategist, and I want people to find me on the internet. If you want to be found on the internet because you’re an author or have a business, then you’ll want the search engines to be able to find you on Facebook as well. Ideally, you’ll want them to connect to your business page but connecting to your profile can have value as well.
Giving Permission to Apps to Login via Your Facebook Account
If you return to the settings menu, you can go down the list in the left-hand column and click on Apps.
When you want to use a new application, the options are often that you can use it if you sign into Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or if you create a log in by using an email address and password. A lot of people just login to their Facebook account. It’s quick and easy that.
I suggest that you periodically check which applications you’ve given access to and delete the apps you no longer use.
Buffer is a reputable scheduling application I sometimes use to schedule status updates. The information I provide to the app are:
- My public profile
- My Timeline posts
- Photos I upload to Facebook
- My email address
In theory, the app can, in turn, do the following (see screenshot below):
However, I went to the above app settings and unchecked all of those boxes. Guess what? I can still use the application, and now my Facebook account is more secure.
For each application you use, you need to review the list of applications you’ve used to signup for or login with and update and delete some of the apps, and restrict the information that those applications have access to.
While you’re reviewing your settings, be sure to also review the areas under Blocking and Notifications. Under Timeline and Tagging:
- Determine whether anyone or just Friends can post on your Timeline.
- Further delineate your tagging settings.
- Make sure that you can review posts your tagged in before Facebook adds them to your Timeline, and review tags people add to your posts. I have conservative settings in these areas.
The latest news from Facebook is that it will be making its privacy settings “clearer and easier to find.” That’s good news for you. If you want to read about the coming changes, read this post: Facebook Is Updating Its Privacy Tools: Here’s What to Expect.
Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.
This book is a very useful tool for writers looking to extend and reach their audiences. It has systematic detailed information about how to set up accounts and create a professional online profile and author branding. Recommended to anyone curious about why social media is still such a big thing for everyone, particularly for writers.
Author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.
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