Facebook recently changed your privacy controls, again, and now is a good time to check to make sure your privacy settings are where you want them to be. If you have kids or older parents on Facebook, this is a good learning opportunity for them too that having a digital presence means periodically checking to make sure you are putting your best digital foot forward.
The first check is your Privacy Settings. In the upper-right corner, click on the arrow next to Home and select Privacy Settings.
When I first opened the Privacy Settings page, I saw that my setting was on Public. I never post publicly on Facebook (that’s what I use Twitter for), so I changed the setting back to Friends. This option hides my posts from anyone I’m not friends with on Facebook.
The second step is to see how your profile looks to others. To do that, go to your profile and and click on the cog icon next to Activity Log and select View As.
I use this option to see how my Facebook profile looks to people I’m not Facebook friends with. This option showed me that I had been publicly posting on Facebook for the past month or two. It is not my intention to publicly share posts and photos on Facebook, I want to keep my Facebook information secured to friends only.
Make sure you scroll all the way down the page when using this option so you can see everything. You can also type in a name at the top if you want to see how your profile looks to someone else.
The third step was to change the public posts back to being visible by friends only. There are two ways to do this. The first is you could go through each post and change the option. This option is time consuming (depending on the number of posts) and you could potentially miss something. The second option is to use the “Limit the Audience for Past Posts” in Privacy Settings. I prefer the second option as its easier and takes care of everything with one click.
Click the “Manage Past Post Visibility” link and you will be prompted to confirm the action. This action will go through all of your past posts and set the visibility to whatever your default is. In step 1, I changed my default to Friends so using this action will change the visibility of all posts to Friends. If my default was Public, then this action would change anything I had previously hidden to Friends to Public.
Changing your privacy settings isn’t hard to do. Remembering to periodically check your privacy settings is the hard part. For me, I don’t check them on a regular basis unless I read an article that Facebook changed the settings again.
If my child was older and on Facebook, I would check his settings on a regular basis. Like us, he will be figuring out how to navigate Facebook as he goes and he will probably make some mistakes. By keeping his Privacy Settings secured, hopefully that will minimize the damage and help him get a job or scholarship. Remember, your child’s online presence could come back to haunt him one day if not properly managed.
Did you check your Facebook Privacy Settings? Did you have to change anything? Are your kids online? If yes, how do you help them manage their Facebook Privacy Settings? Let us know in the comments!
For more information on the new Privacy changes, I recommend you check out this article Facebook’s Privacy Evolution Crawls Another Step Out of the Ooze. It has an image of what the new Privacy option looks like and information about the Activity Log, a feature I haven’t checked out yet.
Other Related Links:
- After vote, Facebook moves to update privacy settings (Computerworld) (updated 12/13/2012)