Facebook privacy in 5 steps
Facebook is a fabulous way to connect with friends and family. Of course, Facebook is a spectacular way to embarrass yourself. And it happens almost every day.
Users post personal photos and intimate status updates that they think only a few friends will see. Then the posts get broadcast to friends of friends or — worse — everyone.
Anyone can be surprised by an episode of oversharing if they're not paying attention.
And Facebook's announcement this week of a new tool call Graph Search that “will let you sift through photos, places and more that have been shared on Facebook” makes this a really good time to check some of your privacy settings. For now, it's in a very limited beta trial as Facebook develops the product.
Fortunately, Facebook has a new tool to help simplify your privacy settings. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you probably also missed it. That's OK; it's easy to find.
When you're logged into Facebook, you'll notice a new lock icon in the top tool bar. Clicking on that brings up the new Privacy Shortcuts menu, where you can manage the Big Three privacy concerns: Who can see my stuff? Who can contact me? How do I stop someone from bothering me?
Without dropping what you're doing and navigating somewhere else, you can quickly block (unfriend) someone, verify that only friends are seeing your posts, filter how you receive messages and control who can send you friend requests.
This dropdown menu also provides a shortcut to your Activity Log, where you can review your past activity. And you can use the new Request and Removal tool to ask friends to take down pictures of you.
The Privacy Shortcuts area is an improvement, but there are other important settings buried away that still need attention. To access these, click on See More Settings in the Privacy Shortcuts menu. (This is the same as clicking on the gear icon next to it and choosing Privacy Settings.)
Under Privacy, check the answer to the all-important “Who can look me up?” You probably don't want that set to Everyone! I recommend Friends at least.
You probably don't want search engines finding your Facebook profile, either. I'd make sure that option is turned off.
If you regularly log in to websites with your Facebook account, you might be surprised by how many apps have access to your profile. Some apps may have permission to make posts on your behalf. Modify these settings or remove apps you no longer use by going to Apps>>Apps You Use.
The “Apps others use” and “Instant personalization” subheadings also need attention.
You likely allow most of your friends to see your birthday, hometown and other personal data. “Apps others use” controls whether apps that your friends use can also grab that information. I recommend that you uncheck all the boxes.
Finally, make a pit stop under the Ads setting. Change “Third Party Sites” and “Ads & Friends” to No One from the two dropdown menus.
If these options are set to “Only my friends,” Facebook can pair your name and profile picture with a paid ad and show it to your friends. You don't want that.
Email Kim Komando at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man dies in jump from Route 130 overpass onto passing tractor-trailer in Hempfield
- NFL players Fitzgerald, Donald to lead Pitt in Blue-Gold spring game
- Pitt football team working to fatten up QB sack total on defense
- Starkey: Penguins’ season impressive so far
- Penguins a love affair for Evancho sisters
- Hornqvist’s net-front presence with Penguins could be valuable asset
- Firefighter hurt in 3-alarm fire at Jefferson Hills restaurant
- Big names highlight Three Rivers Arts Festival’s 2015 musical lineup
- Chick’s Bar in McKeesport catches fire
- Pennsylvania religious freedom law does not extend to for-profits
- Don’t think of ‘fake news’ as a modern invention