Tweaking Your Facebook Privacy Settings

by Brett Pollard on December 17, 2009

How to optimize your account for privacy

When Facebook rolled out their “new” privacy settings last week it created quite a buzz in the online community.  The truth is very few changes were made to the privacy options, but Facebook attempted to have users share more of their personal information.

How did they do it?  Upon login, Facebook users were greeted with a guided tour of their privacy settings.  Unfortunately, the default selections they chose  for users included sharing their “about me” information, “family and relationships” information and status updates. Without a doubt the process tricked a large number of users into sharing information with search engines they would not ordinarily share.

Who can see your Facebook profile information?

Who can see your Facebook profile information?

If you have a Facebook account, I urge you to educate yourself on the specifics of their privacy settings.  Rather than reinventing the wheel by detailing these settings, I would like to share 3 wonderful resources containing the information you will need in order to protect yourself.

  1. 10 New Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know – updated their privacy setting recommendations to reflect the latest Facebook changes.  This list gives some very useful advice for making your own decisions on which information you should share and with whom.
  2. Top 10 Things You Should Not Share on Social Networks – This article from does not specifically address the Facebook issue, but it does a nice job explaining which things you should not share in your social media accounts.
  3. Facebook’s New Privacy Push Concerns Experts – When information regarding the Facebook changes was released, Adam Ostrow at was quick to gather insight from online security experts.  The article quotes opinions from a number of experts and also includes a video of the new privacy setup (see below).

It remains to be seen how these latest privacy decisions will affect other forms of social media, but you can be certain that Facebook will continue to be bashed publicly for how they handled the transition.

Will privacy concerns slow the growth and usage of Facebook in the coming months? Stay tuned.  It’s only a matter of time before we started hearing stories about the fallout of users that were duped into sharing their information with the rest of the world.

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