Enforcing Privacy In Social Media: Facebook

Danah Boyd in SXSW pointed out that most Facebook users still unable to set their facebook privacy settings as to what they imagine it to be. Facebook is famous for changing their web site layout to the expense of confusing their user. Facebook has been putting in more and more application, making it a very heavy application to use. It will not be a surprise if most their user missed out on their most important privacy settings.

I would like to share some of the basic privacy settings that we can edit to make sure that we are revealing the right amount of information in our Facebook profile.

Status Updates

Facebook provides four settings to protect your status updates. These settings can be accessed from your profile page.

  • Everyone : This will allow anyone to view your status update. Do not choose this setting unless you want everyone, those in facebook and outside facebook, to be able to see your status update. This is very similiar to Twitter’s public timeline.
  • Friends of Friends: This setting allow your friends and their friends to view what you post on your wall
  • Friends: This setting only allow the people that you have approved to be your friend to see your status update
  • Customize: This is probably the best option available. You can choose the people who can see your status updates.For example below my status update can only be seen by the person I choose

Privacy Settings Page

The privacy setting page has a more comprehensive option that we can choose. This page can be accessed from ‘Account’ > ‘Privacy Setting’ menu. The privacy setting page give you option to manage four areas of privacy namely: ‘Profile Information’, ‘Contact Information’, ‘Application and Website’, ‘Search’, and ‘Block List’.

Profile Information

We can control how much amount of information people can see in our profile page. Each of the option has the same basic four privacy setting that we see in our status update privacy options. Make sure that each of your profile information has been appropriately set to an acceptable level of privacy.

Do not forgot to click on the ‘Preview My Profile …’ button to see how most people view your profile on facebook.

Contact Information

Contact information is the next important page that we need to set. I hide most of my contact information from my peers.

Application Settings

This is the page where we can control how much access an application has into our facebook profile. One function that I find particularly useful is the ‘What you share’ section. This page gives you a full overview of what each of your facebook application can do. This page also allow you to uninstall application if you decide not to use them anymore.

Here how you do it. Click on the ‘Learn More’ button. Click on the ‘this page’ link on the bottom of the page.Choose the ‘Authorized’ option from the ‘Show:’ drop down list. You will now see the complete list of authorized application in your facebook. You can edit the privacy settings by clicking on the ‘Edit Settings’ link To uninstall an application simply click the ‘x’ button.

Do you want to know how other people view your profile ?

The preview page allow you to view how public see your profile. You can also check how a person view your public profile. Just specify a person name in in the upper left text field. This will give you a preview how a particular person view your profile page.

These are some of the privacy settings that we can customize in Facebook. How is your experience with privacy in Facebook. Do you have any other tips that you would like to share ?


About zainul franciscus

Hi, I am a software developer and tech blogger who is currently living in Wellington, New Zealand. I write stuff that I find interesting on
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