With more than 600 million users, Facebook is not only the largest social networking website, but has also become an essential part of millions of people's daily life. We put our whole lives into our Facebook account.
But how sure are we that the information is private?
Facebook's privacy settings are complex. Your name, profile picture, gender, and networks are visible to everyone, but you have some control over the rest of the information. Here are some steps you can take to secure your profile:
It has detailed information on how the site works. It is a good idea to check your privacy settings every few months to see if any features have changed due to periodic updates in Facebook's policy.
Click on the small down-arrow (next to Home), Account Settings, Password--Edit.
Make sure you have a strong password, one that is at least 15 characters long. (See our Password page for tips on this.) Never use the same password for Facebook that you do for email or other confidential accounts.
Click on the down-arrow, Account Settings, Security.
First, click on "Secure Browsing--Edit." Check the box for a secure connection. Review the other security options carefully - they give you some control over which computers can log into your account. You can even ask for a text message to be sent to you if an unrecognized computer tries to log in as you.
(NOTE: when you are naming your devices, try to avoid names like "home" or "work" as these are too easy for a hacker to guess.)
Click on the down-arrow, Privacy settings.
The most important thing to remember here is: "Public" means everyone!
Facebook sets these to where they think your privacy ought to be. If you don't agree with their assessment, you need to change these. Click on "Edit settings," and pick a privacy level for each category. Secure Florida recommends setting these to Friends Only, unless this is a business or other public account. Remember that "Everyone" means everyone in the world with Internet access.
Click on your profile, then click on "Photos."
Note how each album contains its own privacy setting. Make sure that you aren't sharing photos with strangers, unless that's your intent. Mobile photos each have their own setting, so check each of these individually.
Finally, go back to "Customize settings" and click Preview My Profile (upper right).
This is what strangers see when they view your profile. Make sure it's okay with you.