If you haven’t checked your Facebook privacy settings in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, now is the time to do so. Not just because of the data exposed (it didn’t seem to violate the ToS, so I’m reluctant to call it a breach), but because it’s something you should do regularly. It’s not only about checking your settings though, you should also look over your friends list and profile to see if there’s anything there you don’t want to have public.
This is a quick rundown of what I review regularly…
- Friends list – Your friends are the ones with the most access. Take a look at your friends list. Are these people you know? Do you want them seeing what you are posting? Facebook is great for connecting, but do you really want that random person you met for 5 min seeing your family photos and vacation plans? Avoid random people, but remember a lot of things end up being shown to friends of friends. If you tag a friend in a picture with your kid and the audience is set to friends of friends, all 1,000+ of their friends can see it too.
- About section – Does it have things you don’t want on there? It’s pretty straight forward, but still a good thing to review. Also review who can see the information on your profile. Unfortunately you have to go through and check most of these manually, but it’s worth doing.
- Profile and cover pictures – These are public. Make sure the images are something you are ok with the world seeing.
- Audience for Posts – Set to friends. On the rare occasion you want something to be publicly broadcasted, you can change it. Worst case, set to friends of friends. For the love of all that is holy, unless you are running your FB page as a business or would like to be the victim of some sort of theft, don’t set the audience to Public. To do this, go to your Settings, then Privacy, and adjust who can see your future posts. While you’re there, think about adjusting the other settings too.
- Apps and Websites – Since you’re in settings, go ahead and click on Apps and Websites. See what you have active. Do you know what they are? Remove what you need to remove.
- Ads – Take a look at your preferences and the rest of the info. You may want to remove some items, but this is also a bit of an FYI.
Finally, be cautious about what you are clicking on. A lot of the “fun” quizzes are gathering quite a bit of personal information – that just so happens to overlap with security questions used for account validation.
Will doing these things keep your info locked down? No, but it will help. The bottom line that is if you are going to use Facebook (or other social media sites) you will have information exposed to the public. It’s a good idea to do a regular review to make sure you know what that information is.
What are your tips/thoughts/whatever on managing your privacy on Facebook?