We’ve all seen the articles and news reports about Facebook’s privacy issues. What with the Open Graph slowly coming into effect everywhere, it’s just all too easy to pick up your own personal stalker. Let’s just face it, it is hard to retain your privacy anywhere online. It’s not just difficult on Facebook. Here are a few steps to maintain your privacy, or at least what little of you can maintain, on the giant social network and just online in general.
Remember the feature where you can check in to where you are with your mobile phone? It’s like if I go to Starbucks and press the “Check-in” option on the Facebook app, it will be updated on my profile AND on my friends’ News Feed “Jared is at Starbucks.” This feature will conjure you a stalker very quickly if you even use it. If you don’t want people to know where you are then just don’t use the feature. Simple as that. But if you insist on “checking in” at every place you go, then at least check in AFTER you leave Starbucks. (Just make sure that your coffee is in hand.)
No matter how odd this may seem there are actually privacy options on Facebook. A smart thing for anyone to do would be to set all of those options to “friends only.” This way only your friends will see what you post, upload, where you check in, etc. Everything you do will still be stored for life on Facebook’s servers, but at least only your friends would be able to see most of the things on your profile.
There are many apps that give away a lot of what you’re doing. An example would be Spotify which, when connected to Facebook, will post every song you listen to onto your profile exactly while you’re listening to them. Not only that, but what you’re listening to will also appear in your friends’ ticker simultaneously! If you don’t want what you listen to being known to your friends, then just don’t give Spotify permission to connect to your Facebook. There are other Facebook apps that show what you read, as well, and the advice is the same: just deny it access. If you want to delete an app that you believe is making your information insecure, you can delete it under the “apps” page.
Finally, just don’t post what you don’t want known! If you don’t want your information out there, just don’t post it. Honestly, Facebook isn’t the problem most of the time when it comes to privacy issues. The real problem is the people that post stupid things about themselves! Don’t post what you don’t want known and all will be well.
What are some of the ways you secure your data online? Let us know in the comments.