Thursday, September 12, 2013

Facebook vs Privacy

Facebook vs Privacy
by JL Mo

A friend on facebook posted a query asking how to make a page private. This got me to thinking; after all of the information regarding Snowden and the NSA, does anyone really believe there’s privacy?

Because, no. There is not.

You cannot make facebook, or any other website, totally private. It is digitally impossible. If it's on the net (fb, twitter, email, dropbox, flickr, whatever) it can be copied, pasted, shared by whoever has the ability to access it. And that is a lot of people.

Accept that first.

I’m not telling you to not put anything out there. There are moments you want to share with your closest friends. Or your sister. Or your brother. Or hell, even your mom.

Post those moments and let the whole world smile with you. Because that is a possible scenario.

But there are other moments you only want to share with your lover. Or your co-conspirator. Hard and fast Rule Number One, “If you don't want others to see it (parents, friends, good guys, bad guys) don't put it on the web!” Yes, that means your iPhone, too.

That being said, I’ll offer this small piece of advice for non-savvy facebook users. Look at the top right side of your fb screen, where the dark blue line is. There are tabs there. Among them, you'll see an icon that looks like a lock with stripes on one side. That's your Privacy Settings. Click that and the dropdown box will offer, “See More Settings” at the bottom of the list. Don’t glaze over yet, because here you will find a gold mine of useful tools.

Privacy Settings and Tools

Who can see my stuff?
Who can see your future posts?

Use Activity Log

Review all your posts and things you're tagged in
Limit Past Posts
Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public?

Who can contact me?

Who can send you friend requests?
Whose messages do I want filtered into my Inbox?
Who can look me up?
Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided?
Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?

Explore it. Use it. For a least a small level of security, check it every day. Set a timer to remind yourself if you must. Just Use It.

Then, enjoy sharing on facebook. Just accept the fact that someone else is always watching.