We all know Facebook is the fastest growing social networking site in the world today But sharing information has lots of risks including your name which can be accessed by others and your profile can be viewed. Anyone can get valuable information and private photos from your profile — ultimately getting you in big trouble. You can keep your misfortunes down to a minimum by following these steps.
These steps can help you separate the good people from the bad ones.
- Set the security settings on your profile to “Only my friends.” By doing this, you will be able to have control who has access to your information and pictures. For certain pictures, you can also select certain friends that you do or do not want them to see.
- Always monitor pictures that other people put of you and tag you on. You can see the tagged pictures of you by going to your profile and under your profile picture it should say “Photos of You” and the number of tagged pictures. Click on that, and look through the pictures.
You should be able to un-tag any unappealing photos of you, but people still have the ability to see it. Don’t hesitate for a second to “un-tag” yourself from pictures that you do not approve of. Simply click “remove tag” next to the name in the list of people in the picture. Also if you think that the particular picture could put you in a compromising situation, consult whoever put it up and ask him or her to remove it immediately. If they are your so called pals they should comply with your request.
- Do not post pictures of yourself under the influence of any type of substance. This refers to pictures such as: Dancing-on-the-bar pictures or candid shots of the last time you got hammered with your pals on happy hour. Don’t be caught with drugs, especially if you’re underage because anyone can just print out the picture and show it to your parents or principal.
- Be cautious of the statuses, photos, videos, etc. you post if your coworkers, colleagues, or even your boss is friends with you. If possible, avoid sending out or accepting friend requests from those who know you from work, especially your boss. Granting them full access to view your personal life will only have negative effects on your job.
- Avoid putting your phone number, mailing address, children’s or pet’s names in your profile. People often use words such as pet’s names or numbers as passwords, so it is not recommended to publish them on-line.
- Never post information regarding an upcoming vacation or trip as your status. Doing so is just asking for your house to be robbed. If you must post photos and every detail of your two-week trip to France, do so after you return home, not before or during your vacation.
- Change your password every so often. Don’t make your password something obvious such as your birthday or mother’s maiden name. Try to have at least one capital letter, one lowercase letter, two numbers, and a symbol. The longer and more complicated the password, the safer you are from getting your account hacked. Always remember to log out after you’re finished with Facebook, especially on a shared computer.
- Don’t confuse Facebook with an on-line dating site. The purpose of Facebook is to connect you with people you know. Making you profile public means you’re sharing your information with everyone, even though you don’t know them, a risk that you wouldn’t want to take.
- Be careful who you friend. Don’t friend anyone out of your state/country unless you know them pretty well. Only friend people you know. You can add mutual friends that you don’t know if you want to, though not recommended. Only friend people that you at least know their favorite color, siblings name, pets name, or something like that. Make sure they are the correct person by looking through their pictures. If they are not familiar, then remove them as a friend by getting to your friend list. Block anyone that seems to threaten or harass you.
- Take advantage of online Social Network Monitoring services. No matter how active you are, going through your children’s posts, messages, photos, videos, comments is impossible. Remember: children have no right to privacy from their parents, but you don’t necessarily need to view every post they make unless you have reason to be suspicious. You should have their passwords so you can see if they are getting into dangerous situations or are exhibiting inappropriate speech or behavior. You can, though, respect your children’s individuality and take advantage of online Monitoring services. These services inform you on what you need to know in an easy to use platform. Some of these services offer monitoring for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and cell phones; becoming your social shield against predators, Cyber-bullies, Reputation issues.
- Before clicking on a link from Facebook, always remember to check the address bar,which should always display “www.facebook.com/” and nothing else like “www.facebook33.tk” or “www.facebook1.php”, etc. which is a giveaway of a phisher. It can steal your e-mail and password, as well as post spam links to your friends’ Walls.
More Safety Tips
- Remove anything you think is inappropriate. This could mean wall posts, images, or status’s. What you may have found funny last night might not be as funny the next morning.
- If anyone seems to be harassing you on Facebook Chat, then don’t hesitate to go offline. This can be done by clicking on the bottom right corner of the page and selecting the “Go Offline” button.
- If someone is continuously harassing you, sending you any messages that are mean, nasty, inappropriate and make you uneasy, you can remove them off your friend list – even better block them.
- Never add any friend requests and suggestions from anyone that you do not know, or by someone who you know is a stalker, harasser, bully and iffy. Remember some people can put false information and even a fake picture on. Be wary of who you add.
- Don’t display your year of birth. It slightly helps improve security settings and prevent identity theft.
- If you see any inappropriate images or comments then e-mail Facebook at abuse@Facebook.com.
- If your child is on Facebook and are under 13, monitor them weekly to see whats happening and make sure your child has all the safety equipment on.
- If someone you do not know talks to you, then do not respond and immediately block them. Show your parents, if you are younger than eighteen, and ask them what to do.
- If you ever get a friend request from someone you don’t know then be sure to show an adult if younger than 18 and report that person to Facebook.