Hands on

My biggest problem with Facebook privacy setting is that the site customizes a setting “for you.” This is the default setting your Facebook is set on if you do not go in and change it. For instance, I have my Facebook set to only allow access to every category on the front privacy page (except for my school email, which I have completely private) set to “friends only.” Facebook recommends that I allow all users access to basic information, friends of friends to some information, and only “friends only” for three categories. In order to walk you through the basic privacy settings on Facebook, I’m going to show you some screen shots of the privacy settings pages on the site.

My biggest problem with Facebook privacy setting is that the site customizes a setting “for you.” This is the default setting your Facebook is set on if you do not go in and change it. For instance, I have my Facebook set to only allow access to every category on the front privacy page (except for my school email, which I have completely private) set to “friends only.” Facebook recommends that I allow all users access to basic information, friends of friends to some information, and only “friends only” for three categories. In order to walk you through the basic privacy settings on Facebook, I’m going to show you some screen shots of the privacy settings pages on the site.

The site is also misleading because a user could easily believe that these are the only settings. That is not true. There are also settings for connecting on Facebook, Apps and Websites, Block Lists, and a link to more information about the privacy options on Facebook. If you’ve never noticed these settings before, it’s probably because Facebook uses good aesthetics to make the links blend in, all around the big box centered on the page.

The two biggest sections I always tell people to look at, and the sections making the most noise as far as user outcry, are the settings for what apps can know about you through your friends and the new instant personalization option. I’ll talk more about instant personalization later, but we all know what apps are capable of doing when we give them access. Did you know that apps can access your information without you even using the application? Facebook allows apps to access friends’ information when a user signs on to the app. This screen below shows just what information can be checked off as fair game for apps to access just if a user’s friend uses the app.

Facebook claims, “the more info you share, the more social the experience.” And that may be true, but Facebook also has said that apps are third parties and are not directly controlled by Facebook’s security or privacy teams. Needless to say, I unchecked all those options as soon as I realized a third party app being used by an old high school friend had access to my personal photos.

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