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How to Save Face: 6 Tips for Safer Facebooking

(This is a much-shortened version of the original article.)

 , By Jason
 
1. Know what you’re getting into
Facebook is a business. Facebook will always be free. But there is a cost. Facebook’s Privacy Policy - a short version: everything you post, every person you friend, every group you join will be made public to your “friends”, “friends of your friends” or “everyone”—depending on your privacy settings.

2. Secure your PC
What does 500,000,000 people on one website look like? To cybercriminals, it looks like a gigantic, unsecured goldmine. Updated Internet security is a must.

3. Use a unique, strong password
Create a complex password. Here’s a simple password system we recommend. You should also use different passwords for your all of your various accounts. Never let browser remember your password. Lock your PC when you step away from it.

4. Filter your friends
So ask yourself this: Does everyone you email need to be your Facebook friend? Do you need to be friends with colleagues or your boss? Want to stop Facebook from combing through your email contacts? You can remove your contacts by clicking here. But if you’re using a Facebook app on your phone, first you’ll have to disable the Facebook synchronization feature on your phone. Want to stop Facebook from suggesting you as a friend to others? Go to “Privacy Settings” click on “Settings” for “Basic Directory Information”.  When you get there, set “Search for me on Facebook” to “Friends Only”. Always remember this: If anyone solicits you directly about money, assume it’s a scam. (Report it, then block 'em - ed.) 

5. Click carefully
Remember that links are not your friends. The most popular Facebook scams involve gift cards and hilarious videos and diet advice. Get Internet security with browsing protection. You can double-check any link before you click it by copying it (right-click on it in Windows) and pasting it into F-Secure’s free Browsing Protection. Apply the same caution you’ve learned to use when you’re checking email to checking Facebook. And just because your friend or family linked something, doesn’t mean you have to click on it.

6. Don’t rely on Facebook to protect your privacy
Start at “Account”> “Privacy Settings”. Then click on “Settings” for “Basic Directory Information” . This is where you decide who can find you and what they’ll see when they do.



If you’re more interested in connection, select “Everyone” for the top three settings “Search for me on Facebook”, “Send me a friend request” and “Send me a message”. 

Then consider making all the other settings “Friends Only”. This will encourage people to become your friend, and it gives you more power over your information. 

Next you can click back to “Privacy Settings” and set how you share on Facebook.

You can go with the preset options or customize each category individually.
Your safest bet is “Friends Only.” 

You may also want to uncheck the box that says “Let friends of people tagged in my photos and posts see them.” This way you won’t unintentionally draw attention to an image one of your friends may not want others to see.
 

Here you should do two things. 1) Remove any applications you aren’t using.  2) Click on “Turn off all platform applications”. Then you can select which applications you don’t ever want to show up on your wall ever again. That’s right. You can say goodbye to FarmVille forever, if you want to. You can also turn off all platform applications, which will keep your friends from automatically sharing your information with the applications they’re using. Not a bad idea. (To do this you must be willing to cut yourself off from all outside applications, you have to "select all" and turn them all off - ed.)

Next you can click on “Game and application activity”. Click “Customize” and select “Only Me”.

After that, take a look at “Info accessible through your friends” (below).  Here you’ll see all the information that is available to the applications your friends decide to use. That’s right, your friends share all this information automatically with the applications they use.


Now we’re at “Instant Personalization”, which is controversial because Facebook opted all of its users into it. Instant Personalisation shares your information with three Facebook partner sites: Docs, Yelp and Pandora. Could more partners be added? Yes. Could you just opt out of one or two? Yes. Just click on Docs, Yelp or Pandora and then click on “Block Application.”

“Public Search” I recommend that you do not click the box to “Enable public search”.


Be careful not to post anything that can be used against you. This includes travel plans and itineraries,  complaints about bosses, co-workers and customers, company secrets, threats… 
 
Bonus tip: Use Facebook’s one true security feature
Facebook’s one true security feature:Facebook will inform you anytime any new device accesses your account. Go to “Account Settings”. Then select “Account Security”.


Source: F-Secure
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