Facebook is a very popular social network, and privacy issues among the users is one of the biggest concerns cropping up in the social network media. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, when asked about privacy on Facebook, said that, "A lot of companies would be trapped by the conventions and their legacies of what they’ve built, doing a privacy change – doing a privacy change for 350 million users is not the kind of thing that a lot of companies would do. But we viewed that as a really important thing, to always keep a beginner’s mind and what would we do if we were starting the company now and we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it".
Firstly, you must understand that, even though a lot of safety measures are taken by the networking service, to keep up privacy of the users, we should also take the necessary steps to protect our Facebook account. Now, I will guide you through the primary steps to keep your Facebook account secured. For that, you must first have a Facebook account. So, let’s start.
Choose your Privacy Settings
* Before we start, type your email ID and password on the Facebook home page and then click on the login button. Now you will enter into your profile page of Facebook.
* On your profile page, click on Accounts tab and then click Privacy settings from the drop down menu.
* You will be directed to a page, where you can easily control, how you want to share and what you want people to see.
* The four options where you can choose from are: Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends only, Recommended.
* Everyone means that you don?t have any privacy and anyone can see your details and access your page.
* Friends of Friends is an option in which the friends of your friends will be able to access some of your details, but not all of them.
* In the option, Friends only, friends on your friend list only can access your details.
* In the Recommended option, Facebook gives you a mixture of all three options.
* For the beginners, it’s better to choose Friends only option for safety reasons.
* Click on Friends only option, and then click on Apply settings to save the changes.
* You could also customize your privacy by clicking on Customize Settings.
* In this window, you can easily change any category, and to customize, click on the right button, Edit Settings, to open a drop down menu, where you can choose between Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends only or customize for specific people.
* The category is divided into three sub categories: Things I share, Things others share and Contact information.
* Scroll down this window for more options to configure or customize.
* On the same window, there is an option on the top right, Preview My Profile.
* When you click on this option, you can preview how your profile will look, when someone visits your page.
Seclusion from Facebook Search Results and Search Engine Results
Privacy from Facebook Search Results
To enable this, click on the Privacy settings from the drop down menu of the ‘Accounts tab’. Click on View settings, near Connecting on Facebook. Select Friends only from the category, Search for you on Facebook. After doing this, only friends and family can find you in Facebook search results.
Privacy from Search Engines
Facebook receives a huge traffic through search engines. To block your profile from being indexed by the search engines, you need to follow these steps. In Privacy settings option, click on Edit your settings, for editing the applications and websites. Now, disable the Public search button, by clicking on Edit settings on the right end of the category, Public search.
Block Images and Videos that you are Tagged in
Few of us don’t want other people to view the images and videos that they are tagged in. To avoid this, click on Privacy settings and then click on Customize settings, on the directed page. In this window, go to the category Photos and videos you’re tagged in, and edit the settings and customize it to Only Me and save the settings.
Other Tips to Maintain Privacy on Facebook
* Disable the box, Show my friends on my profile, on your profile page.
* Disable the box, Friends can post on my Wall , by clicking on Customize settings, to avoid embarrassing wall posts.
* Keep your contact information private, by editing the settings to Friends only, in the contact information category, by clicking on Customize settings, on the Privacy settings window.
You can also use a tool called ‘ReclaimPrivacy’, which can help you to secure your privacy in Facebook. This tool, analyzes you Facebook account and indicates the zones of insecurity. Also, block people on Facebook, whom you don’t want to connect with. In spite of all these measures, Mark Zuckerberg asserts that, "the age of privacy is over". There may be some pleasure hackers and intruders who would poke into your Facebook account and trouble you. So, we are surely taking the risk of using the social networking site. So, I advice you to use your account constructively and maintain privacy in all spheres.