The very nature of going global implies you’ll be giving up some privacy. One status update or check-in and all your friends virtually know where you are and what you are doing, but there are still security measures you can take to protect your privacy and limit any online invasions into your personal space.
You may have 200+ friends on your facebook profile, but chances are they are not all your close friends, some are work colleagues, acquaintances, your kid’s friends and so on. Facebook will create ‘smart lists’ based on information found in the profile section of your facebook and that of your friends, but you can always create your own lists, too. Sometimes your status posts or photos are such that it would only be of interest to your family list, or to people who live in your area or work in your industry. While lists are useful to ensure that your status updates are reaching the people they most pertain too, it also limits how personal you get with your virtual friends. For example, you may want your family and even neighbors to know how to contact you while you are out of town this weekend, but you’d rather not hear from your work associates.
Check-Ins & Tags
Checking-in at a restaurant with your friends is a way to broadcast your fun times, and can promote a business or activity that you enjoy. And much like check-ins, getting tagged in a photo sends all the who, what, where, when info to your friends (and the friends of others tagged in the photo or status update). Letting people know where you are and who you are with also lets them know where you are not. You’re not at home that evening for example.
In the timeline and tagging section of the privacy settings, you can elect to approve the posts that friends tag you in prior to it going live on facebook. you can even limit who can post and who can see posts on your facebook.
Ever wonder how your boss sees your facebook page? How about what your best friend sees versus what your mother sees? Using the “view as” option of facebook can let you see your facebook page through another person’s eyes. Even if you don’t worry about what your different friends see on your page, try looking at it through the public view and you may catch a few photos or status updates that you’ve accidentally shared with the world rather than your friend list.
Most facebook users are aware that every photo album and even individual pictures can be viewed or hidden from different facebook friends or groups of friends, but keep in mind that tagging and commenting on photos helps to push the picture to friends-of-friends, too. Also, that profile cover photo on your timeline is public! And it is public at its pre-cropped, original upload dimensions.
The #1, best, most tried and true way to protect your privacy on facebook – don’t post something you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with all your virtual friends and all of their virtual friends. Because even if you keep it out of the public domain, facebook will make your world a lot smaller when you factor in everyone’s connections.