Saturday, January 7, 2012

A New Year Checkup – Facebook: Step 2 - Privacy Settings and Friends

It’s a new year and it’s time for social media types to be more conscientious about their social outposts. As part of a focus on social media strategy this is the second in a series about Facebook.

Check your privacy settings

Facebook insists that the pending switch to Timeline for all 800 million of its users will not change any individual’s privacy settings. But this ignores the fact that Timeline will expose everything you’ve ever done on Facebook.

Besides, when was the last time you checked your privacy settings? Do you know what your current privacy settings are?

Given Facebook’s troubled history with privacy – since 2009 Facebook has automatically reset users’ privacy settings to public at least four times – now is a great time to check them. (You can click on the "Facebook on Privacy" link below or on your Facebook page go to the pull-down menu on the top right of your Profile page and select Privacy Settings.)

And while you are considering your privacy you might also reconsider your definition of a "friend" – because even if your privacy settings remain the same, your list of friends likely continues to grow.

This probably means your definition of a "friend" has grown over the years and now includes such people as parents, bosses and random people you met at a conference. Someone you didn't know in 2008 would suddenly have easier access to something you posted then.

This might be a good time to open up your friends list and do some pruning. A friend’s ex-wife? A sibling’s friend in another state/country? An acquaintance who has 2,000 friends and never interacts with any of them? It’s time to tidy up that list. And don’t worry: Facebook doesn’t alert the people you drop.

How to:
Understand Facebook Privacy
Adjust Important Privacy Settings
Decide Who Sees What on Your Wall

Was this post helpful? Do you keep up with your privacy settings? Will you be doing it more regularly now?

Related links:
Facebook Checkup Step 1 - The Timeline
Facebook Checkup Step 3 - Lists
Facebook Checkup Step 4 - Final Checkup

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