secure laptopIf you are using Facebook, your information is out there and it may be seen and used. The only way to completely prevent this, is to delete your Facebook account. But if you aren’t quite ready to leave Facebook behind, there are some things you can do to protect your information.

 

What information am I sharing and who has access to it?

It is important to understand what information is on Facebook, who can see it and how. The only information accessible on Facebook is the information that you put on it! When you created your profile, you went through and set it up. And like most people you probably don’t go in often to change it.

The best way to protect yourself is to know what information you are sharing with Facebook. To do this, go to your profile and click ‘About’.

This will bring up a list of categories. Under each one, you can add, edit or remove information.

  • Work and Education – You can add places you’ve worked, gone to school and professional skills
  • Places You’ve Lived – Add/Remove places you have lived
  • Contact and Basic Info – This is where most information is; phone number, address, email, birth date, gender, interests, religious and political views. 
  • Family and Relationships – Add/Remove members of your family
  • Details About You – This is where you can add a summary about yourself
  • Life Events – This list is created using the other options you have filled in. (If you entered information about your work history, it would show up here) You also can add items to the list.

Once you are comfortable with the information you’ve shared on Facebook, you can go into your settings and choose who has access to that information and how.

The only people who can access your information, are the ones you give permission to. When you play a game or take a quiz on Facebook, you are giving that third party app permission to access your information. That permission remains unless you change it. You do this by changing your settings. Keep reading to find out how.

How Do I Change My Facebook Settings?

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Facebook settings. See what they are set as and adjust them to what you are comfortable with.

To get to your settings, click the down arrow in the blue bar at the top of the screen, choose settings. On the left side you’ll see a list of categories. When you click each category, you are given the settings for that option. Click through each option to adjust the settings to what you are comfortable with.

Privacy

Your privacy settings typically default to ‘Everyone’, which means everyone on Facebook not just people you know. You can set who you want to see your activity and how people can find and contact you. Click “Edit’ to adjust each setting.

Timeline and Tagging

Determine the settings for your timeline; who can post on your timeline and who can see those posts. It is also where you can set who can see posts you’re tagged in. You also have the ability to review posts your tagged in and when someone tags your post.

Blocking

This is where you can see and adjust what you have blocked. You can block specific users, messages, apps, events, and pages.

Face Recognition

Facebook has the ability to recognize your face in photos and videos. When this is turned on, it allows for easy tagging, helps to prevent others from using your photo as their profile pictures and some other features. There is a ‘Learn More’ link under the settings you can click to see more about it. You set this by either selecting ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

Apps and Websites

This is where you can see what apps and websites you have been logged into with Facebook and that may be seeing your information. It shows which apps are active. You can view and edit the settings for each app, as well as remove apps you no longer want.

You also have the option to completely disable third party apps.

 

Now What?

Protecting your information doesn’t mean you have to leave Facebook behind. It also doesn’t mean you can’t use third party apps, like games. The key to protecting your information is to be aware. Be aware of what information you are sharing and who you are sharing it with. Make it a habit to check your settings and apps and adjust them as needed.