Social media is a blessing and a curse–sometimes, simultaneously! The price we pay for staying in touch is a loss of privacy, and that is true in multiple ways, depending how philosophical a person is inclined to be.
You have more control than you might know you have, however. Understanding Facebook’s privacy settings determines who sees what and how much of your life can be accessible by your friends, family, or strangers.
Here are three points you need to understand before looking at Facebook’s privacy:
- If you have a Facebook account, you are how Facebook makes money. You are the product they sell to advertisers. You can’t change that, and you should realize that regardless how you set your privacy, Facebook knows what you’re posting. You can lock down your account so that very few people can see it, and make it so that specific people only access specific info, but Facebook still knows–and they keep extensive data. That’s the price of having social media.
- When Facebook updates its site, which includes the privacy settings, sometimes your privacy settings change in ways you don’t intend. Sometimes when they update, they set new or updated features to the most liberal privacy. That means that you need to check your settings once in a while–setting them once and leaving them alone after that is not a good idea.
- Best practices for Facebook privacy change, so make sure that any online tips or support you use is current. Look for a date that is as close to the current date as possible. Using Facebook’s online help is often enough, and it’s reasonable to assume their info is up to date, but be aware that sometimes, they have their interests more at heart than your interests–remember, YOU are their product, not their customer.
Note: These same warnings apply to other social media, like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and SnapChat. If you use those, you should learn how to set your security to a level you’re comfortable with, also.
Here’s a September 2019 article about Facebook privacy: https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/facebook-privacy-settings/
Here’s the link to the official Help page about Facebook privacy: https://www.facebook.com/help/325807937506242?ref=tos