Thursday, June 20, 2013

Facebook Security - Are You Up To Date

With over a billion users there is a good chance sooner or later you or someone you know is going to run across some not so honest Facebook user with evil intentions.  
Have you checked your security settings lately? Do you know how to check them and prevent the creepy sort from gaining access to your profile and personal information? If you have never changed the service's default security settings, your profile information is available for anyone to search and allows every other Facebook user to contact you.

Why is it dangerous?

I spent some time today shoring up a friend’s Facebook account as she has somehow gained an admirer from Texas who was trying to convince her she should share Instagram photos with him. That would be a no way, not happening request. The Facebook Help section will explain how to
report all types of abuse.

Facebook regularly tweaks its security settings, if you want to avoid predators, criminals or just overly annoying friends it is highly recommended that you spend a few minutes and update your own personal as well as your children’s security settings.

Here is how to do it:

First open Facebook's privacy options by clicking on the little wheel in the upper right corner.  And choose Privacy Settings. Here you can set up who can see your stuff; really that is what they call it. Make sure this is not set to Public. It should be limited to Friends at the very least or you can also customize it to limit what friends see what you post.

On this screen you can also adjust who can look you up on Facebook. This one is very important as by default Facebook will let anyone look you up. Stop random people from finding you by taking these simple steps.

Simply click edit next to the options and change it to friends. I also recommend that you turn off the search engine option. Have you ever Googled a name and it went straight to their Facebook profile. If you have this setting turned on that is what can happen.

Audience Selector

There is also an audience selector that appears directly below status and photo windows you're about to post. This also will determine which Facebook users you're sharing your stuff with.

Simply click on the big blue button to the left of Post and choose who you want to see that post or picture. Remember, that setting will now become your default setting for all future posts. So if you customize to block your mother from seeing your Saturday night bar picture, remember to change it back when you want her to see the cute kid pictures.

Check Out Your Timeline

Click on your name and them the blue arrow next to Activity Log, this allows you to view your profile as the Public sees it. You can even go to the upper left corner once you pull this up and put in a specific friend to see what they see.

Timeline and Tagging Settings

Next hit that same blue arrow and hit Timeline Settings:

Here you can designate who can post on your timeline, or if you want to review that picture you are tagged in before it goes up on your timeline you can set that up here as well. (Refer back to Saturday night bar picture). You can also designate who can see things that you or others post on your Timeline.


Next we Block all those annoying people and apps and event invites that we no longer can stand to look at. Once you are in the Privacy Settings area you will see the Blocking option. Here you can Block Specific Users by adding their name or email address. Those you have blocked will appear under Block Users option. Keep in mind if you block them, they cannot see anything you do and you cannot see them either.

Have you had enough of Farmville? Perhaps someone is inviting you to their Pampered Chef Party every week? Block those invites and apps here:

This allows you to block invites from Aunt Laura for Farmville, or event invites from certain people who invite you to everything. The best part is you can block entire Apps. Those annoying quiz apps, block them! Yes it is possible to never get another request for lives in Candy Crush again!

The screenshots above came directly from my Facebook Profile Privacy Settings. Take a minute and check yours, make adjustments and check them often.  Every time Facebook makes a change your settings may go back to the Facebook default settings allowing anyone to see your “stuff.”