The Problem of Privacy
In case you hadn’t noticed, Facebook has exploded and is starting some personal wildfires.
Family members are showing up online along with friend requests from high school ‘frenemies’. You’ve been sharing your wildest dreams and crazy antics with your inner circle online for years, but the world has arrived. The lure of creating a fabulous page describing your fascinating private life now has its drawbacks.
Now making a Facebook friend is somewhat touchy. Do you want this potential client to see your pleasure party pictures? Should your friends’ dubious gangster friend be able to see your precious baby niece’s photos? Are you really sure Grandma’s ready to know you moved in with your masseuse? We all need some privacy in our lives.
In real life, we succeed in our relationships and protect our privacy by adjusting our behavior and filter news to fit each situation. It works pretty well, most of the time.
This virtual blurt of personal data has been an unintentional godsend for hiring managers, marketeers, potential dates and old buddies from our past. Now that Facebook has become mainstream, even your Grandma has an account and wants to friend you. And you’ve been nagging her to get online for years. Uh-oh.
How do you limit the types of information each group sees?
Control Who Sees What About You
There is a way to have a safe page for Grandma and still share your wacky happy hour pics with your friends by limiting types of information viewed by anyone visiting your page on Facebook, depending on the friends list they belong to.
You can also block anyone from seeing you at all on Facebook — they don’t see your posts, your tagged images, or find you when searching. These two techniques provide the control you need to enjoy Facebook, enjoy your friends, get hired at your next job, hide from your ex and stay out of trouble.
Create a Friends List
Before you can customize your privacy settings you need to sort your Facebook friends into friends lists.
- Start by logging on to your Facebook page, go the Friends page, then select All Connections right under Search all Friends at the upper left corner.
- Across the top of All Connections, select the option for Create New List. You’ll then name your list and select who belongs to it. One person can be in multiple lists, so don’t worry too much about sorting people out.
- Save your lists and close the window.
Your friends lists will appear on your menu on the left hand side. If you have a large number of connections, it provides a way to filter some of the news if you want.
Customize Privacy Settings
From the top menu, under Settings, choose Privacy Settings, then select Profile.
- The top three options: Profile, Basic Info and Personal Info only provide general categories, so take a look at those settings. For Profile and Basic Info, I allow my Networks and Friends to see this information, so they can know what I do and contact me for work. My personal info is only available to Friends, after I’ve accepted them.
- The settings for content you post or others post about you is where the friends lists come handy. For Status and Links, Photos tagged of You, Videos tagged of You, Wall Posts, Education or Work Info, choose the Custom drop down to open the window Who Can See This.
- Choose the options for Some Friends to use one of your friends lists or an individual name.
- Save settings before closing.
Block the Unwanted
It’s unavoidable in life, when you’ve lived long enough. There are just some people you’d rather not see anymore.
On the Privacy page, right on the front there is a window that allows you to Block People or Block Email.
This is a lifesaver for anyone trying to begin a new life after a bad relationship, avoiding nasty family members or dodging someone whose been ugly to you. Use it if you need it.
Blog Long and Prosper
Implementing these tricks will go a long way to providing creative freedom where you need it, privacy in your private life, personal security and help you stay employable. Have fun my Facebook friends!