Facebook Privacy Made Simple

11 Jun
June 11, 2010

Privacy, or more specifically the confusion surrounding privacy, on Facebook has been the focus of much media attention and user distress in the past few months.  Facebook has changed settings and auto-enabled features without notifying its users and left many feeling their privacy on the social network is in jeopardy.

In response, Facebook has launched new privacy settings that give users significantly more control over their personal information.  Not only do users have more control, but these controls are also a lot simpler. The changes focus around three things: a single control for user’s content, more control for user’s basic information and easy ways to control and turn off applications.

In Real Estate, these security settings are important for us, and for our business. These settings will allow us to better control our brand messaging, and to separate our personal information and posts from our business/professional content and posts.

Facebook is introducing these changes in phases to the 400 million plus users.  When the changes are activated on your account a message will appear on your home screen alerting you of the new settings.  Click the link to find out more and view your settings. If you’ve already seen this note and “X’d” it, you can access the new settings by clicking on “My Account” and then choosing “Privacy Settings”

You’ll notice right away the settings page has been redesigned and is much simpler to navigate.  With one click you can set up a broad based privacy setting just by deciding if you want to share all your content with “Everyone”  “Friends of Friends” or just “Friends.”

Already have privacy settings in place and want to review or update them or have total control over your content? Just click on “Custom” (then click on “Customize Settings”) and you can decide on each piece of content individually.  This choice is the most complex of choices, but gives you the most options.

Want to pick and choose who can see what but don’t know where to start.  Click on “Recommended” (which personally Idon’t recommend) and Facebook will give you their suggested settings to use.  I’d only suggest using this setting if you are comfortable sharing a large amount of profile information with “Everyone.”

The BEST part about the new settings– once you set up these controls they will apply to all new products launched by Facebook, keeping YOU in control of your information and what is being shared.  Hooray!

The new settings page also provides you with easy to find links where you can edit what basic directory information you share, block people or block applications.  You can turn off the “instant personalization” application (allows Facebook to share your information with their third party partners) under the “Applications & Website” section.

Still need a little more guidance?  Click on “Learn More” under the “Controlling How You Share” icon and Facebook will break down the options even further.  Facebook also created a Fan Page for “Facebook & Privacy.”  You can “like” this page and have updates they post included in your news feed.  Avery-Hess Agents also remember that I’m just a call or quick visit away to help you out if you ever have questions or need assistance.  Happy & Safe Facebooking!

- Kristin

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