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Privacy settings

Privacy settings allow users to determine who can see their profile on social networking sites. They are powerful tools in helping to protect your information, including blog entries, videos and pictures. Nowadays, almost every social network (as for example Facebook) has good quality and reliable tools to keep your private information safe. But how carefully do Facebook users consider their online privacy?

With Facebook settings changing frequently, users don´t always realize when their privacy settings have changed since they modified them for the last time. Many users simply don´t choose their privacy options carefully, or haven’t learned how to keep their personal information safe in the net.

As it can be quite risky to share too much personal information on this sites (your phone number, contact information, embarrasing pictures…), Facebook users need to have a guarantee that the information they don´t want to be shown is being kept in private.

“Obviously it’s a little bit scary when a company like Facebook that has an incredible amount of data gets access to more.” Those were the words of Justin Brookman (a senior fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology) collected By Donna Howell in her article “Facebook´s New Messaging Plan Worries Some Privacy Advocates”,when Facebook offered it´s new messaging plan.

Facebook has always ensure it´s users that they have good privacy tools to keep the information safe. “Facebook is committed to protecting your information. We have industry standard and proprietary network monitoring tools constantly running in our system in order to prevent security breaches and protect the security of your data.

In addition, Facebook always posts to a secure page when users are logging in and employs industry standard encryption. This may not always be apparent from the URL (web address), but rest assured our logins are secure.” says the Facebook FAQ Help Center, Facebook Privacy, Privacy settings and fundamentals

Only what Facebook called “basic directory information” necessary to help friends find you on the site will be public. These items include your name, profile photo if you have one, networks if you’ve added and gender.

Although each Facebook user decides which information wants to share or keep in private, here there are 10 privacy settings every Facebook user should know, recommended by Nick O´Neill:

  1. Use your friend lists
  2. Remove yourself from Facebook search results
  3. Remove yourself from Google
  4. Avoid the infamous photo/video tag mistake
  5. Protect your albums
  6. Prevent stories from showing up in your friends’ news feeds
  7. Protect against published application stories
  8. Make your contact information private
  9. Avoid embarrassing wall posts
  10. Keep your friendships private

As Sophos recommendates, you should also think carefully about who you allow to become your friend. Once you have accepted someone as your friend, they will be able to access any information about you that you have marked as viewable by your friends. You can remove or block friends at any time you change your mind about someone.

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Categories: Social networks
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