I’m probably starting to sound like the old Dunkin’ Donuts commercial with the catch line: “Time to make the doughnuts.” But it’s time to check your Facebook privacy settings.
This chore will result in something good, or at least lessen the chance of something bad happening.
I stumbled across a simple “how-to” guide for checking and updating Facebook privacy settings and am passing it along.
The only thing I’ll add (again) is to make a habit of checking and updating your Facebook privacy settings. Maybe you can do it on the same day every month. Maybe you can do it every payday. Just do it. And tell your friends, especially your Facebook friends, to do the same.
This guide includes a seven-step list to walk you through ensuring that people on your “friends only” list are the only ones who can see your Facebook information. Pay special attention to the third-party applications and websites that have access to your information. This is in the “apps and websites” area, which has recently been moved to the lower-left corner of a page within the settings.
Of the seven listed steps, I believe this is one of the most important:
“Stay on the ‘apps and websites’ page, scroll down to ‘instant personalization’ and select ‘edit settings.’ Uncheck the box at the bottom of this page to block other websites from accessing your Facebook interests. Select ‘confirm’ when a pop-up asks you if you’re sure you want to disable this option.”
I’d suggest you print this list and keep it near your computer. It will probably be valid for another few months, until Facebook changes its privacy practices again. The company is famous for it. It’s playing a game of cat and mouse, with your personal information as the cheese.
Protect your cheese. And enjoy the doughnuts.
Here’s the story by Nicholas Jackson of the Atlantic magazine (as seen today on Yahoo):
Stealth Mode: Making yourself nearly invisible on Facebook