We did a vote and approximately 85% of this office check their Facebook before they’re even dressed in the morning (mostly on their smartphones while the kettle’s boiling!) Ok, so our social media girl has a good excuse – it’s literally her job – but should the rest of us be ashamed of our digital selves?
Maybe, but setting aside home truths we’re not quite ready to hear, let’s look at the issue of Facebook and your privacy.
Facebook has recommended settings, but it only takes a cursory glance to see that they’re not strictly in the best interests of your privacy.
You may not care enough about your Facebook account to even bother erasing your password when you sell iPads and smartphones to us (we ALWAYS run thorough data erase software just in case!), but the personal information you share in your About Me area should always be regulated.
Snoops and, let’s be honest, horrid criminals with no scruples, can tell a lot about you from personal information like your education, Likes and hometown. Your birthday, address and phone number in particular can be used to steal your identity. We’re not being hysterical; Facebook cited identity theft as a “major issue” despite almost constant security overhauls.
Places and Photos
Not worried about strangers seeing you in your fabulous two-piece in the Maldives? Whilst your biggest worry is about whether to take your old iPad or your new one, making it obvious to strangers that you’re on holiday or going away invites crime. We recommend disabling the Places feature on your account to prevent others from tagging you either.
Use Lists to Create Custom Settings
So, your mum has finally forced you to accept her friend request, but you’re not sure about her seeing all those risqué uni photos! Lists are a way to add users to custom lists with custom privacy settings, e.g. hiding some photos, access to certain wall posts, etc.
Use a Tester
Facebook has over 170 different privacy options, which frankly makes our brains hurt. Instead of touring the digital maze of T&Cs etc, why not let some little virtual critter do it for you? ReclaimPrivacy.org is a really simple little tool that can be dragged and dropped into the browser as a bookmark. Open Facebook and ReclaimPrivacy will begin running it’s clever little tests on your privacy settings, highlighting alerts and basically giving you a nice rundown of where you stand, privacy-wise.