Fix Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Earlier this week, Facebook rolled out a new privacy policy which allows outside applications to view information stored on you, including your likes, connections, education, current city, and more. Needless to say, there’s a big issue with privacy here. While you want your friends to be able to see this information, you want to avoid giving it to 3rd parties as much as possible. Here’s some key tips to locking down your profile from those automated prying eyes.

1. Remove Instant Personalization [link]

Instant personalization gives your information to 3rd party websites such as Docs.com, Pandora, and Yelp. Uncheck this box to prevent these sites from accessing your information.

2. Remove Unused (and sketchy) Applications [link]

Chances are you’ve added some application at some point, and although you deleted it off your profile, it probably still has access to your profile. Remove any unwanted applications by going to the link above and deleting those apps which shouldn’t be there. You might be surprised how many pages can see your information!

3. Remove Your Public Profile [link]

Data mining will largely rely on your public profile as a starting point for gathering your information. Remove that ability by going to the link above. Change your Facebook Search Results to Friends and Networks, and then Uncheck the option to have a public profile.

4. Lock Down Your Contact Information [link]

On this page, you can find all of the contact methods that are available to you. Unless you really want anybody to contact you, it is best to set almost all of these to “Friends” and nothing else. The only exceptions are the option to add you as a friend, and to send you messages. Both are worthwhile to leave open to everybody unless you happen to get spam from them.

5. Lock Down Your Profile Information [link]

Finally, there’s your actual profile information that should be locked down. Setting all of these to “Only Friends” is the best course of action.

If you haven’t done so, lock down your information soon. I can guarantee that the automated data mining services are working full-tilt in case Facebook reverts its privacy settings. It’s time to take control of your profile settings.

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Posted in Five Things, Security, Technology
3 comments on “Fix Your Facebook Privacy Settings
  1. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the post Brian! I’m going to pass it around because you hit all the big points. As for the “Lock down your profile” part, you may want to fix that link, went to a blank page for me, but that might be because I have already locked down things in other sections of the settings.

  2. Tanis says:

    Brian, you always know how to help me with my paranoia. I found three of these by myself but you have made me feel ten times more safe with the last two.
    you are awesome. :)
    With love from your paranoid friend

  3. Erin says:

    Thanks for this info, Brian. It was really useful. I went through and did a bunch of this before, but it’s good to know that I’ve got all the important stuff now. The application link was particularly helpful.

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