The following is a guest post by social media consultant Lior Levin.
Everyone has moments in their past that they wish they could hide from the professional world. Unfortunately, Facebook friends have a way of bringing up those past indiscretions for everyone to see.
The whole objective behind Facebook is to exchange information with friends, family and colleagues. Yet if a friend posts a photo of you doing something you don’t want to be seen doing and tags you in that photo, the people in your network are going to see it. In fact, if your privacy settings aren’t set properly, you may find that even total strangers are able to see them too.
Be Specific About Sharing Permissions
It’s very possible to edit and customize your permissions for sharing information about yourself. Log into your Facebook account and you’ll see on the top right hand side a drop-down menu for “Account”. Inside this menu, you’ll see a selection for “Privacy Settings”.
Use this section to customize the level of privacy you want. Don’t simply click on the “Friends Only” option, unless you want people within your professional network to see photos of you or your kids as well. Instead, use the Custom option and select the level of privacy options you want to apply.
For example, you may choose to only allow people in your friend network to see photos of you or post on your wall. You may even choose to block anyone who isn’t in your friend list from seeing any of your information at all.
There is also the option to hide certain information from view to everyone except you. This is a handy feature if you don’t your contact information, your email address or your phone number visible to anyone online at all.
Tagged Photos and Videos
While you may have reset and reconfigured your sharing permissions, this won’t actually stop someone else from uploading a photo of you and then tagging you in it. Those third-party pictures of you can be seen by people in your network, as well as by the people in the network of the person who posted the photo.
If you’re not comfortable with people loading random photos of you for anyone to see, you can keep track of when anyone tags you in a post or in a photo. You can also choose to hide any externally uploaded photos and make them visible to only you.
To do this, select the drop down menu on the upper right hand side that says “Account” then select the option for “Account Settings”. This will take you to a page where you can control what information you choose to share.
You can also set your account to send you notifications when a person tags you in a post or in a photo. This is an important consideration, as you cede a large amount of reputation control by allowing others to post images of you at will.
Encrypt Your Facebook Sessions
While you’re in the “Account Settings” page, select the “Account Security” option. This allows you to conduct any of your Facebook sessions over a ‘https’ secure connection. You have the added security of knowing you’re not sharing your information with others, which can be very handy if you’re using the Wi-Fi at a Starbucks or at the airport, or other public location.
This section also allows you to monitor and receive notifications of any other activity within your Facebook account.
Across the top of the Account Settings page are several tabs. You can allocate various levels of notifications for different events and occurrences on Facebook.
This post was written by Lior Levin who is a social media consultant to an E2 Visa lawyer from New York who likes to engage in deep social media initiatives.
Photo by kchbrown http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillykevflicks/