6 Facebook Security Tips for New Users

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Facebook is one of the largest social networking sites worldwide, and it’s growing rapidly.  If you have not heard about Facebook, chances are that you have been either strategically ignoring it or living in a remote part of the world.  While having a social network in one place is great, it also raises some privacy issues about  what information is really being shared.  In order to ensure that your information is only seen only by people you select, here are some security tips for you to follow:

1. Remove Public Search

This includes features that allow others to find your Facebook page using search engines such as Google.  It might seem innocent at first, but employers are increasingly browsing through profiles of potential and even current employees, to find drinking photos you took with your buddies that might not be appropriate.

To turn off “Public Search,” simply go to “Account” – “Privacy Settings” – “Apps and Websites” – “edit your settings.”  Once you’re there, click on “Edit Settings” in “Public search” and uncheck the box next to “Enable Public Search”.

2.  Limit public information

By default, information like your status, photos and posts, are shared with everybody on Facebook.  You might not want to have your exact address or comments available for everyone to view.

To turn this feature off, simply got to “Account” – “Privacy Settings” – “Custom” – “Customize settings”.

3. Turn off facial recognition tags

Facebook scans newly uploaded photos for familiar faces, and tags you if a match is found.  While this feature might seem really cool for finding your friends, or finding friend’s of friend’s photos and names, don’t forget that photos can be downloaded or saved by anyone.  Imagine a silly photo posted by your friends, which tags you by name, so everyone can see who that is.

To turn this feature off, simply go to “Account” – “Privacy settings” – “Custom” – “Customize settings” – “Things others share” – Edit settings.

4. Enable secure browsing

In your Facebook settings, under “Login Approvals”.  The way it works is that anytime somebody, including you, tries to access your account using a different computer, they will be prompted for a security code, which can be sent your phone.  Ideally, you would have your phone nearby so you can fill in the code if using a new device to access facebook.  Many banks have a similar security feature when you use online banking.

In order to enable “Login Approval” go to “Account” – “Account Settings” – “Account Security” – Change, then check the box “Login Approvals” and click save.  Once you click save you will have to go through the setup process – and then you are done.

5. Do not accept ‘friends’ requests from people you don’t know.

There are a lot of spammers and crooks that will send you friend requests and messages in order to get into your friends list.  The more friends you have, the better target you are for spammers.  The best would be just to ignore all requests from people you don’t know.

6. Watch where you click even on your friend’s status updates.

Some apps automatically load various status updates with images, which are basically spam on your friend’s wall.  Sometimes clicking on your friend’s status update will either automatically subscribe you to the apps feed, or even install the app.

Facebook is a great social networking tool, where you can keep your personal and business contacts in one place.  Just remember that not all information should be shared, and not everyone should see your status updates.