Last month Facebook rolled out a new Privacy Shortcuts menu where users can manage the three most important privacy concerns: Who can see my stuff? Who can contact me? and How do I stop someone from bothering me? The Privacy Shortcuts menu can be accessed by clicking on the new lock icon with three horizontal lines which is located between the Home and gear shift links in the upper right hand corner of the toolbar.
Now while logged into Facebook users can quickly block someone, verify that only friends or those on personalized lists are seeing posts or they can filter how messages are received and control friend requests.
When a user selects Who can see my stuff? he or she can then select Use Activity Log to review all of his/her posts and tags. The Request and Removal tool can be used to ask friends to take down photos or remove tags.
Also located under Who Can See My Stuff? is a link to the Activity Log. Users may click there to check photos and posts in which others have tagged them.
Also located under Who Can See My Stuff? is a link for What do other people see in my timeline? Users can click on View As to check their public timeline profile and may also type in an individual’s name to discover what that Facebook friend sees. This is a good way to double-check privacy settings.
In the second Privacy Shortcut a user can click on Who Can Contact Me? to determine the level of privacy for Messages and Friend Requests.
The third Privacy Shortcut allows users to block someone. Blocking someone limits them from viewing things you share on your timeline. Most ties you currently have with the people you block will be broken (ex: friendship connections). Blocking is reciprocal, so you won’t be able to do things like start a Facebook chat or message with the person, or see things they post on their timeline.
To access additional settings, click on See More Settings in the Privacy Shortcuts menu. This setting can also be accessed via the gear icon by selecting Privacy Settings.
Under Privacy, users need to decide who can search for them in Facebook. If a user doesn’t want any friends, then he/she would select Only Me; however most Facebook users seek connections so they use the setting Friends or Everyone.
The question, Do you want other search engines to link to your Timeline? provides a means for users to allow or disallow search engines such as Google to link to public posts. If a user wants more privacy, this option should be turned off.
Many users log in to websites using their Facebook account without realizing that this often gives apps from the websites access to their profiles. Some apps also may have permission to make posts on behalf of the user. It is prudent to check the settings for Apps by selecting the Apps link in the left column of the dashboard.
Instant personalization allows information users have made public on Facebook to be used by partner websites such as Bing or Yelp to customize the user’s experience both in Facebook and on their websites. However, if a user desires privacy he or she should turn off Instant Personalization by unchecking the check box at the statement Enable instant personalization on partner websites.
The setting for Apps Others Use either allows or disallows others from carrying information about other users with them to the apps they use. Clicking on the edit link allows users to limit what is available. To limit the categories, uncheck the check boxes for items from Bio to My App Activity. Users might want to allow their friends to view their birthday or hometown. If those check boxes are checked, the apps friends use will also be able to access that information.
If you’ve wondered why your friends’ names show up in Facebook ads and you don’t want that to be your fate, click on the Ads link in the left side of the dashboard to check the Ads settings. If a user does not want to have his/her name or photo appearing in Third Party Ads or Ads & Friends, No One should be selected from the dropdown menu as illustrated below.
Want to learn how to use Facebook more effectively while maintaining a comfortable level of privacy? The upcoming edition of Check Us Out includes information on the following classes: Facebook Part 1, Facebook Part 2, Facebook Part 3, and Facebook Business Pages.