How to Protect Yourself on Facebook

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Facebook has become a part of many of our everyday lives.  We use it to keep up with old and new friends and as a result we share a lot of personal information as well as pictures and videos we might not want the world to see.  Facebook if used correctly is a great way to network but if you don’t know how to protect yourself and your information you may find it in the wrong hands.  Here are a few things to be aware of to better protect yourself.

1) Privacy – Facebook offers a ton of ways to either share or protect your information.  Some things like pictures are automatically shared with the world unless you specifically indicate they are just for your friends.  I am always amazed when I am looking for a person on Facebook and I search their name and I see they have their profile locked down so I can’t get any information on them without sending a friends request….but I can look at all their pictures freely.  I am sure since most of these people don’t openly share updates they are also not aware they are openly sharing pics or links they have posted.

So how do you fix this?   Easy, go through your settings and choose how you want your profile to be protected instead of assuming the Facebook defaults protect you.  In order to change your privacy settings, simply log into your account go to settings and privacy options.  Once you are there click through each of the screens to see what information you are currently sharing and with who.  If you want no one beyond your immediate circle to see your posts, pics, etc just choose only friends for each of the categories.  Once you do that, your done now nothing on your profile can be seen by people you have not allowed to.

2) Phishing – Phishing happens in a variety of ways on facebook.  First the regular old fashioned way….get an email telling you to to log into your facebook account and when you click the link and log in you were actually not on Facebook at all but a phishing site set up to gather your login and password.  Two rules on this…never log into any site from your email.  If they sent you an email about a problem, you can deal with that same problem by dealing in on the main site, if there is in fact no problem you have just saved yourself the time and aggrivation of having your account phished.

Another less known way to get your information phished is through certain Facebook apps.  Apps are an awesome part of facebook and bring us everything from games to gifts for our friends or calendars of your friends birthdays.  Apps make facebook fun and are a great way to interact on facebook.  But apps also get access to a lot of your information so choosing what apps you allow is an important choice.  Apps not only gain access to your profile and information but also to your friends profiles and applications.  This is why you should be very sure of what app you are sharing information with.  Always avoid apps that say they can tell you who has been looking at your profile or googling you, this was the biggest phishing operation on MySpace a few years ago and recently I have seen it hanging around Facebook.

So in closing these are just a couple ways you can protect yourself and your friends on Facebook.  Facebook is a great way to keep up with friends and network and as long as you understand how it works and what you are sharing you can keep control of your information.

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Filed in: Social Media • Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
 

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About

My name is Suzanne Murphy and I love internet marketing! I have an extensive background in both offline and online marketing. In the real world I have worked at a major market television station, a radio production company and a national magazine.

This blog is meant to be a place I will try to keep up with writing about current advertising options, internet marketing and probably a fair amount of internet culture just because I find it interesting!