Sunday, June 27, 2010

How to Safeguard your Privacy on Facebook

In this digital era, social networking sites have effectively redefined communication, connectivity and interpersonal relationships - leading to an entertainment revolution of sorts. From the 49 million internet subscribers, social networking, photo and video sharing sites draw over 50 percent of the Indian internet audience and all of us belong to some social network or the other. From uploading pictures, playing quirky games and adopting cyber pets to joining groups and messaging friends about the latest happenings in our life -  social networking sites let you do all. And Facebook, apparently, is one networking portal that tops the preference list of majority users.

While social networking sites are a whole lot of fun and an excellent way to kill the time, we must not forget that in course of time, our lives may become an open book of Facebook. Ex-boyfriends can find out about your latest crush and relationships; snoopy bosses can spy on quirky habits and career moves; relatives can fish for information about your private life. With all the good things, there also comes a fair share of unwanted prying. So it is extremely vital to keep tabs on your privacy settings. Tweak those settings, lock away certain sections and make sure that only a select few can view what you allow them to see.

If you are on Facebook, everyone can view at least a part of the information that you have put up on the World Wide Web. Your name, profile picture, networks and the pages you like can be accessed by everyone. However, you may not want a friend / relative to find out all about your private space or you may feel that the current or a prospective employer should not know everything about your professional interests and networks. So here are a few must know tips to ensure that a minimum level of privacy is maintained on Facebook.

If you are not particularly interested to be found on Facebook every time someone googles you, this is what you can do. Go to the 'Search' section on the 'Privacy Settings' page. If the 'Allow' box next to the 'Public Search Results' is checked, it fishes out all information related to fan pages, photographs and friends' lists when someone searches for you. So uncheck this box to stay off the search engine scanners. You can also refine this option and determine who you can look up on Facebook by limiting the search facility - so that only your friends can have access to the data. Do you need more privacy? Avoid putting up additional information like gender or current city. Uncheck the gender box and leave the current city box blank to protect your identity further.

Your friends' list is also public information although you may not want others to read through your list of pals. To avoid public viewing, go to your 'Profile' page and click the tiny blue pencil on the top right box of friends. Uncheck the option the  says 'Show Friend List to everyone'. But do remember, your friends on the list can access the list any time.

Be cautious when it comes to third party applications. Games and quizzes are fun to indulge in and definitely a great way to while away the time. But remember, every time you play a game or take a quiz, you unknowingly give access to your profile information. These applications can actually sneak in and find information about your friends, relatives’ and other contacts. As a preventive measure, go to the 'Application Setting' page where you will find all the applications which can access your profile information. Now click the 'X' mark next to the game/quiz to remove these applications. You can further secure your profile information by cruising to the 'Privacy Settings' page, under the option 'Applications and Websites.' Edit the section which allows friends to share your photos, birthday and other personal details.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Best Web Host