Have you been switched to Facebook’s Timeline? Here’s what you can do to protect your privacy
In its early days, Facebook was an intimate space where people were off guard and goofed around with close friends. Then it became bigger, and before you knew it, you had your family, colleagues and even your boss there. Timeline has now changed things further by making your profile much more accessible, and by default, highly public. You need to make some changes to your settings, and quickly, if you haven’t already. Here are some things you must not do:
Don’t disclose your location
It’s tempting to tell everyone, but no place online is private, so keep your address and location to yourself—remember, anyone, just about anyone at all, can see this information if it’s published on your Timeline. As a rule, never include where, when and for how many days you might be on vacation.
Settings: Facebook’s default setting is to disclose your location. In the left-bottom of the status message box is a rounded arrow pointing downwards. If it shows your city, you can click on it to disable geo-location. For Facebook Mobile, check the app settings on your smartphone and switch off Messenger Location Services.
Don’t let the apps decide
Applications on Facebook ask for access to your personal information and post to your wall when you use them. Even apps you’ve given permission to months ago and never use are still collecting data.
Settings: In your Privacy Settings on Facebook, click on Ads, Apps and Websites. Apps You Use shows a list of apps, and you can give app-level permissions for each individual app. You can tweak these one by one, keeping in mind the needs of each app, and you can remove apps you don’t use any more.
Don’t forget the old updates
Remember the kind of stuff you were posting on Facebook four years ago? Facebook has by default made it all public and has also made it easier for anyone to see what you were up to by putting down your activities by year.
Settings: Click on the Account menu, go to Privacy Settings and find Limit the Audience for Past Posts. Choose Manage Past Post Visibility to quickly clean up your early years on Facebook. After that, it’s still a good idea to scroll down the Timeline and see if there are private posts to hide.
Don’t post to public
Public means just that—everyone in the online world can see updates marked public. By default, your name, gender, user name, user ID, profile picture and cover photo on Facebook are public information. Posts you make on Pages and in Groups are automatically public, so never get into an argument with anyone there. All your posts are also public, but you can change the setting for those.
Settings: Go to Privacy Settings. In Control Privacy When You Post, choose who all can see the status updates, photos and information you post. Change who can see posts made from your Facebook mobile app too. This will handle new posts, but for old posts, you need to go to your Timeline and manually change the visibility of each post. It’s tedious, but important.
Don’t forget Timeline privacy settings
Your Timeline can be seen by anyone on Facebook with a simple name search. Default settings are mostly public, so anyone can see your information—from relatively innocuous details such as the city you live in, to more sensitive details such as your contact information.
Settings: Go to your Timeline and click on the Update Info button. Each section of the profile has an edit button to change visibility levels.
Read the complete story on the HT Mint website.