By Erika Stalder for Every Day Connected
Facebook has quickly grown from a tool used to stalk exes and reacquaint with old high school buddies to a can’t-live-without platform integrated with the rest of our online lives. As a result, these days, it seems like you can’t listen to a song, like a band or brand, or read an article without it being shared with family, co-workers and anyone else categorized as a Facebook friend.
The more tentacles Facebook sprouts, the more important it is to stay on top of your privacy settings. Here are the top five ways to tweak your settings to stay in control of your info.
1. Control your tags. Tagging is one of the most common ways that people can represent you online (by attaching your name to a picture or location) without your prompting. To stay on top of these virtual taggers, click on the top right-hand corner of your screen and select “Privacy Settings” in the dropdown. Then, go to the “How Tags Work” section, where you can enable options like tag review before tags appear on your profile, controlling who checks you into places with them, etc. It’s best to err on the side of choosing the locked and most privatized settings, then changing them later if you need to.
2. Decide who sees what when it comes to what you watch and read online. Apps that link to your Facebook account (like those from The Washington Post, Hulu and Pandora, for example) can share each article you read, TV show you watch or song you listen to via your timeline. To share only some of this information or none at all, modify the apps in the privacy settings by clicking “Edit” next to the app.
3. Limit the ticker. Right now, there are no direct ticker settings; any post that is open to everyone will be shown on the ticker. To bypass the ticker, customize sharing either manually in each post (when you hover over the top right side of each post, a custom icon appears with a dropdown where you can choose who can see this post) or via the general privacy settings for all posts. (Make sure your privacy settings are set to only allow friends or friends of friends to view your activity.)
4. Keep your phone number private. If you’ve added a mobile phone to your Facebook account, your phone number might be posted for all of your Facebook friends to see. To ixnay your number from your growing contact lists, head to the “Mobile Settings” tab in your “Account Settings” and unclick “Share My Phone Number With My Friends.”
5. Slow social ads. Facebook pairs your “likes” with advertising to help marketers target your friends. But if you’d like to “like” a product without it being shown alongside ad copy on your friends’ profiles, edit the “Social Ads Settings” in the “Facebook Ads” section of your “Account Settings” and keep your endorsement out of the mix.
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