Can I share my Facebook privacy with others? Facebook enables you to share every bit of personal data you want to share with whomever you want. But the question that often lingers unanswered is: are you sharing information with just the people you want to – or is somebody else also taking a peek?
With the advances in technology and the growing amount of time we spend online, data privacy became a growing concern. And it is for a good reason. A large number of people and organizations that could benefit from your personal information are online and waiting for you to throw them a bone. Anyone from marketing agencies, who want to bombard you with content specific ads, to organizations dealing with identity thefts can be peeking at your birthday or your family photos at any time. That is, unless you make it difficult for them.
How can I secure my Facebook privacy?
First things first: if you did not choose a secure enough password, go and change it. Now. We’ll wait here until you do it. Try to combine upper and lower case letters as well as numbers in your password. It is really a crucial step in keeping your privacy since no Facebook privacy setting changes will help you if your account gets hacked. Now that you made your password more secure, we can move on helping you maintain your rights to privacy.
There is some information you are obligated to give to the Facebook corporation. While creating your Facebook account, you are required to provide them with your name, email address, gender and birth date. Your name and profile do not have Facebook privacy setting because that is how your current and potential Facebook friends can find you. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of people seeing your profile picture, you can always delete it. Gender and date of birth cannot be deleted since they are required for age verification (and limitation to age appropriate content), but they can be hidden through profile editing. Your email address is required, but it can also be hidden using profile editing. You do not have to share your email address and other contact information with anyone.
As far as other personal information is concerned, Facebook made real progress over the last couple of years in enabling you access to means of protecting yourself from unwanted attention. If you click on “Account” in the top menu bar and then click on “Privacy Settings”, you will be taken to a page that looks like this:
Here you can edit the visibility settings for different categories of your personal data. To the left of the customization screen are different facebook privacy presets. You can choose from five different presets. The “Everyone” preset makes your information completely public. The “Friends of friends” makes the information visible to your friends and their friends as well, while the “Friends only” preset limits the visibility of your information to your friends only. The “Recommended” preset is a combination of these presets that is recommended by Facebook.
Customize your Facebook privacy settings
If you would like to customize your facebook privacy settings, click on “Customize settings” and you will be taken to this page.
Here you can get a more detailed look at the different types of information you share with other people and edit the privacy settings for each one. Like with the presets, there are similarly named levels of access and they determine who can view particular pieces of your information.
Facebook often updates its privacy policies and techniques for maintaining your rights for keeping some personal information private and you will do well if you keep track of those changes. We know it seems like a dull chore, but it pays off in the end.
Social networking and privacy
It is not a big secret that social networking and privacy do not go well with each other. The whole idea behind social networks is sharing your information with other people. It is a busy world we are living in and synchronizing schedules to meet your friends for coffee became a very difficult task. The world of Facebook and similar networking sites gave us a chance to meet new people and enable them to get to know us through honest sharing of personal facts. And while this open, remote communication and socialization might be your original intention, remember that not everyone is as benevolent as you and some information you may want to keep for yourself. Or at least for a narrow circle of your close, personal friends. Just be careful with your Facebook privacy! Also note that there is new privacy issues with new Facebook update!