Attempting to digest Facebook privacy in one setting/posting would be a defeatist move.  So we are giving our overview of the settings in the sections as presented by Facebook.

Profile privacy settings

When you first create an account, Facebook takes some privileges with default settings. The number of options for each area is the daunting task that most newcomers to the service skip and forget to revisit later.

In the menu after logging in, select Settings – Privacy Settings.  You then get a simple view of 4 choices (that will become other parts as posts on here).  However, Profile privacy has 11 subsections to control.  They all (but one) follow the same dropdown choices:

  • Everyone
  • My Network and Friends
  • Friends of Friends
  • Only Friends
  • Customize

Only Friends provides the most default privacy by allowing only users who are your confirmed friends to be able to view your profile.  Everything above that in the list gives more viewing rights to your profile information for every subcategory.

Friends of Friends expands yourself to allow the viewing of specific information to an expanded network through friends sharing.  This is the idea of community but starts to open your profile up to more people.  Imagine if you only have 10 friends but one of those 10 have 3000.

Of the 11 subsections in Profile, there is one called Profile also.  It is the control to decide who can see your actual profile page, and anything displayed on that page itself.  It is the key building block of controlling your information.  Basic Info includes your hometown and gender.  If you do not wish to disclose where you are but to make your profile open, then you can reduce this setting to only Friends so you can approve others first.

I mentioned the option for Customize in the list above.  Customize can open that setting to everyone on Facebook, Friends, Friends of Friends and specific networks to which you join and belong.  Lastly, some of the subsections allow you to block individuals by name.  A strong setting when issues such as cyber-bullying occur.

Lastly, one of the great features Facebook offers is often overlooked on the Profile privacy page.  The ability to type in any of your friends names to view your page as that person.  This is a quick and required way to verify the information you are presenting to anyone that is requesting to see your information.  You should randomly type in friends name to verify what is seen after changing settings.

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