Friday, March 25, 2011

Top 10 Privacy Settings to check in Facebook

There are a lot of privacy and security settings available in Facebook, and the full list can be a bit confusing.  So to help you focus on the most critical items, here is a Top 10 list of settings to check (on your account, and on your kids' accounts!) in Facebook:

1)   Make sure your full birthday is not publicly displayed (Home / Edit My Profile) - Sure, we all enjoy getting a pile of birthday wishes on our big day, but those less scrupulous out there can use this information against you to steal your identity!  If you definitely want your birthday known, at least exclude the year from your Profile:

 2)  Make sure your home address is not entered in their profile (Home / Edit My Profile / Contact Information) - there is no need to enter your physical address into Facebook; you (and your kids) should just leave this blank:

3)  See what applications you have granted access to (Accounts / Privacy Settings / Apps and Websites) - any time you go to another website that allows you to log in with your Facebook ID/password, you have granted the ability for that application to gain access to your data (and that of your friends) in Facebook.  In many cases this is just fine, but it's good to know what is out there:

4)  Validate the location-based settings (Privacy Settings / Customize Settings) - Location based applications are all the rage now, but just be aware that when the world knows you're at the ball game right now, they also know your house is empty.  Use with caution!

5)  Google your kids' presence on Facebook - a simple search will help show what information in Facebook is available to the public, and not just to those who are set up as your Friends:

6)  Check for any Events your kids have set up, to ensure they are not set as Public, and that your personal information is not listed.  Also check events that they have replied to (Home / Events) - Another reason to make sure your home address is not public, and also to ensure that small gathering your son wanted doesn't turn into the entire high school showing up at your house...

7)  Closely examine the “Things Others Share” section of the Privacy Settings (Account / Privacy Settings / Customize Settings) - Even if you tighten up all your settings, your Friends still have some authority to share your information.  Tighten that up as well!

8)  Check what your friends can share about you through applications (Account / Privacy Settings / Applications and Websites) - Another example of keeping some control over your own information, rather than leaving that up to the others in your network.

9)  Get notifications when specific updates occur (Account / Account Settings / Notifications) - play around with the settings here if you end up getting inundated with emails..  Sadly there is no parental level notifications in Facebook, the emails get sent to the address of the account, so if you child has a Facebook account, the notifications go to his email.

10)  Limit who can see tagged photos (Account / Privacy Settings / Customize Settings) - Pick one of your friends and go through their Friend list - some will let you see their pictures (Friends of Friends setting) and some will not (Friends Only setting).  Use this to decide how you want your privacy level to be.

Facebook continues to modify their privacy features; check these occasionally to ensure you and your family are only sharing what you want to share!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Facebook for Parents- classes in Harrisburg and Gettysburg

Now "Facebook for Parents" will be offered through the Continuing Education arm of Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC)!

Two dates are on the calendar:
Wednesday April 20th - Harrisburg
Tuesday May 24th - Gettysburg

Click here to find out more and to register!