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Facebook Privacy Updates

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Stefanie Hahn

Stefanie Hahn

By Stefanie Hahn

It’s summertime!  Let’s grab our bathing suits, hit the pool and… oh yeah, check our Facebook privacy settings.  Another update from Zuckerburg and crew has created the need to recheck what you are sharing on Facebook.

First things first …

If you are connected with more than 15 people on facebook and you haven’t created a few “Friend Lists” yet, stop and do this now.  Setting up your lists is simple and…BONUS…they are easy to maintain.

Just as a refresher….

Click on Account

Click on Edit Friends

On the left menu, click on Friends

Click Create New List

Enter a name for your list (family, work, YPN)

Click on the faces of your friends to add them to the list

–       You can have friends on more than one list

Click Create List

<Rinse, lather, repeat>

Now that you have your lists setup you can add a friend when you accept their friend invitation.

OK, where were we … oh yeah, privacy.

Take a close look at how you have your privacy settings; go back to Account and click on Privacy.

From here, you can manage the privacy for your personal information and posts, keep your contact information, friends and block list secure, and protect your tags, connections and apps.  There is more inside that Facebook account than you remember — and there are people out there who would like to harvest every public bit of it for their own use.

My suggestion is to go through each section — even if you don’t make a change, just so you remember how things are configured. If nothing else it is great to know what their polices really are when you get those updates from your friends telling you that Facebook is doing this or that (which usually aren’t true).

In each section, you will see on the left the category name and on the right side will a description of who you are sharing this information with on Facebook.  The right side will have a drop-down where you can select, “Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only or Custom.”

I keep my Facebook profile fairly locked down as I use it primarily for personal updates.  For this reason, 95 percent of my drop-down’s are set to Friends Only.  I don’t accept or request friends on Facebook if I don’t mean it.

For some of my profile, I use the Custom option to manage my privacy.  Selecting Custom allows me to further lockout certain groups from parts of my profile.  For example, if there is a photo or video that I am tagged in (but not so ready to share at the office), I can select Custom, make it visible to Friends Only, and finally hide from a person (my boss) or a certain group (my agents).  If you are friends with clients, I strongly suggest you consider this option.

Finally, Facebook has a super cool option that allows you to view your profile as a particular friend.  So let’s just say that you are facebook friends with your boss, but you have him locked out of the juicy bits of your profile.  Click on Preview my Profile (still under Privacy) to see your profile as your boss would see it!  Tell me this little check won’t come in handy?  Also (from personal experience) remember that your photo album privacy is set by album, so go to your Photos tab and check your albums to manage your photo album privacy.

My best advice though is, don’t get so locked down in privacy settings that you spend more time worrying who can see what than actually enjoying Facebook.  If you are really worried about a particular person(s) then maybe summertime is the perfect time for a Facebook break-up.  As the old saying goes… “It’s not you, it’s me!”

Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Willow Grove, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.

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