There are many potential privacy blunders people often make on the Internet’s largest social networking website. Here are 5 of the most popular (and how to fix them.)
We’re assuming you’ve grasped the privacy basics of Facebook, such as the photos/posts you upload/create have the default setting of Friends. However there are more things to be aware of. Here are 5 privacy mistakes that people still make on Facebook.
Having your friends list public
One of the most popular scams on Facebook is called Facebook cloning. This is where a crook creates a duplicate Facebook account to your account (by using your name and profile picture, both of which are available to the crook) and then goes on to send friend requests to all your friends, with the intention of tricking them into thinking its you.
But how did the crook know who your friends were? Because your friends list is probably set to public. And that needs to be changed.
On Facebook (for desktop) click Friends and then the pencil icon and select Edit Privacy and select Friends or better yet, Only Me. Facebook crooks will no longer know who to send friend requests to, so won’t bother cloning your account.
Installing “entertaining” spammy Facebook apps
What sort of animal are you? Who is your soul mate? What are your most used words?
If these sound familiar, that’s because they are the sort of things an array of “entertaining” – but ultimately spammy – Facebook apps claim to tell you. The problem is that not only are these apps obviously “just for fun”, you don’t really know the people who made them. Yet many of these apps require lots of personal information about you before they will work.
And that information goes straight to the people who developed the app, who will acquire a lot of information about you, which in turn can lead to spam or even more serious online scams.
Don’t install these sorts of apps, and remember to regularly head to your settings, click Apps and remove any apps you don’t trust.
Allowing the public to look you up via your phone number
If you have given Facebook your phone number (to enable 2 factor authentication, for example) then it is important to ensure that Facebook users cannot enter your phone number into Facebook search and find your name, in what is essentially a reverse look-up phone book.
Head over to your settings and click the Privacy section and make sure the “Who can look me up” section (which includes options for both email and phone) are both set to Friends and not Public.
Including your workplace as public
Unless your Facebook account is specifically for your professional life, then there is no reason why your workplace needs to be public. The advent of social media means the disconnect between our personal and professional lives can become blurred, which can lead to a whole host of problems.
More and more employers will regularly check-up on their employees or potential employees, and the number of people fired because of what they share or upload from their social media accounts has sky-rocketed.
Your workplace will obviously not want to be seen in a bad light, and if your workplace is listed publicly on your profile, then everything you do and post on social media can potentially reflect upon it.
As such, businesses often take action when their employees post or share certain content on social media, and that action can include job termination. Listing your workplace not only can associate your employer with your social media actions, it also allows other Facebook users to complain about your actions directly to your employer.
Not regularly reviewing your timeline as a stranger
All the different privacy settings on Facebook may lead you feeling a little confused, and we understand completely. This may be why Facebook introduced a handy feature called View As which allows users to view their timeline as a member of the public, so you can navigate your profile and see if any potentially unwanted information can be seen by someone who isn’t your friend.
This can include contact information, check-ins, unflattering photos or ill-advised updates.
So to check out your profile how a stranger sees it, click the dots icon on your cover photo (for Desktop users) and select View As… and have a look around.