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3 tips to defend your privacy on Facebook

By Debbie Dujanovic | Posted - Nov. 4, 2014 at 10:39 p.m.


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UTAH COUNTY — An online profile is packed with personal information: where we live, where we work and who we're related to.

Using Facebook to share candid moments with family and friends is something many people do. But what if you didn't know you were also sharing your private information with the world?

We checked in with new mom Lesli Harker, who is an avid Facebook user.

"I post a lot of pictures, mostly of my kids," Harker said. "It's the easiest way for me to show my parents and family what they're up to."

Before KSL Social Media Director Spencer Nitz showed up at Harker's doorstep, she thought she took every precaution to protect her privacy.

"I set my Facebook privacy settings to friends-only so that it's not publicly shared," Harker said.

But Nitz broke bad news: Better security goes beyond choosing "friends only."

Harker wasn't aware she hadn't implemented many security settings, so her personal telephone number and a lot of information on her page could be seen by people other than her Facebook "friends."

"Everyone can see my phone number right now? Everyone?" She asked Nitz, clearly shocked.

He gave Harker a few easy tips to balance personal privacy with social networking.

To get started on your own page, click on the lock icon at the top right side of your Facebook page and go to "See More Settings." This tab will lead you to several security options.

  1. To limit who can see the telephone number and email you've provided: Go to the "Privacy" tab and look for the questions "Who can look you up using the email address you provided?" and "Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?" Click on "Friends."
  2. To keep people from accessing your Facebook page via the Web: Go to the "Privacy" tab and "Who can look me up?" Then enter "no" by the question "Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?"
  3. If you don't want friends to see ads you've surfed: Click on "See More Settings;" On the left side of the page click on "Ads," then find the "Edit" tab and choose "No one."

More privacy tips Nitz suggests:

  • To restrict people you haven't "friended" from following your News Feed, click on "Followers" and find "Who Can Follow Me."
  • To review posts you're tagged in before anyone else can see them, click on "Timeline and Tagging" and select "On" near the question "Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?"
  • Facebook users should audit their privacy settings every three months.
Contributing: Jenniffer Michaelson

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Debbie Dujanovic

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