Keeping your internet reputation clean and professional is one of the best things you can do to ensure continued employment, avoid problems with family and friends, and keep a professional image. Unfortunately, social networking sites like Facebook can make this difficult, and even when your Facebook is private people may be able to access some of your private information. Here are the best ways to protect your privacy on Facebook:
Make Your Facebook Private
Facebook’s default settings make your Facebook public for all the world to see, so the single most important step you can take toward protecting your Facebook privacy is to make your Facebook completely private. Only friends should be permitted to see your photos, likes, etc. This prevents people who do not know you from finding information about you (including your address and what you look like!) on Facebook.
People can tag you in photos and notes on Facebook, and these photos and notes then become attached to your profile and associated with you. While this can be a great way for friends to share, it can also be a great way for friends to post embarrassing photos or offensive political rants about you for all the world to see. Consider altering your Facebook settings to prevent friends from tagging you. If, however, you still want to be tagged, be sure to immediately click “remove tag” on photos that you would not be comfortable with a current or future employer seeing. You can’t control other people’s privacy settings, which means that if you are tagged in a photo other people may be able to see it, even if your Facebook is private.
Take Advantage of Friends Groups
If you use your Facebook to keep in touch with both co-workers and friends, acquaintances and family, then you’re probably in a position in which you only want to share some things with some people. Facebook allows you to put friends into groups and then control what gets shared with that group. For example, you can prevent a group from seeing your wall posts or photos, or allow only a certain group to see your notes. Setting up Facebook groups is an excellent way to be able to remain friends with co-workers without living in fear of what your friends might post on your Facebook.
Be Careful What You Post
When you post on someone else’s Facebook wall, you don’t know their privacy settings. Which means that, if their Facebook is public, anyone could see it. Think carefully before posting something to someone else’s Facebook wall, and only post things that you would be comfortable with the entire world seeing, because the entire world may end up seeing it!
Protect Your Safety
Applications that allow other people to see where you are and what you’re doing are a fun idea,but when these are posted to Facebook, you may inadvertently share more than you want to with more people than you want to. Posting your location to Facebook means that distant acquaintances, exes, and your boss can all see where you are. Consider deleting these applications, or adjusting your Facebook settings so that only very close and trusted friends can see these updates.