Time to Update Your Facebook Settings... Again

I’ll give Facebook credit for one thing — they keep making you come back to their site, if for no other reason than to perform a little “preventative maintenance” on your profile from time to time.

Yesterday, Facebook took the first step toward their goal of Facebook-ing the entire planet by announcing that its familiar “like” button will start showing up all over the internet on non-Facebook sites.  I guess because it’s so much fun to tell people that you “like” their Facebook status, Facebook now wants you to have that opportunity wherever you’re surfing online.

The practical effect here is that you will now be able to recommend even more of your general interests to your friends, creating a “web” of similarities between you and your Facebook connections…the better to cross-market you with, my dear.

Here’s how it works, according this handy summary posted by CNN yesterday.  When you read an article that Facebook has gotten its mitts on, you will now see a “like” or “recommend” button with a “thumbs-up” icon on it.  Click it, and all of your Facebook connections who visit that site will know you liked the article…BECAUSE THEY WILL SEE YOUR PROFILE PICTURE AT THE TOP OF THE ARTICLE.  Yikes…

This, of course, is the best case scenario.  If your Facebook settings are not sufficiently locked down, the WHOLE WORLD WILL SEE YOUR PROFILE PICTURE.  Double yikes…

So, if you don’t want to be quite so “out there,” I suggest you head over to Facebook today and double check your privacy settings. 

  1. When you hit Facebook, simply go to Account — Privacy Settings — Profile Information, and make sure each option is set how you want it.  I have mine defaulted to “Only Friends,” so I didn’t need to change anything. 
  2. While you’re in Privacy Settings, you may want to also check your Contact Information to ensure that you’ve selected the level of privacy you want with your personal contact info.

A few other suggestions for those who want to keep their Facebook information available only to their “friends” and not the 400 million other Facebook users (and the 7 or 8 people who don’t have a Facebook account):

  1. To prevent third party websites from personalizing their information with your public information from Facebook, go to Account — Privacy Settings — Applications & Websites, and “de-select” the “Allow” box for Instant Personalization.
  2. To control who can see your Facebook search result on search engines like Google and Bing, go to Account — Privacy Settings — Search, and then “de-select” the “Allow” box for Public Search Results.
  3. Finally, to locate additional information about your privacy settings on Facebook, go to Account — Help Center — Privacy — Controlling Your Privacy Settings.

Good luck, and happy Facebook-ing…

* Special thanks to Shannon Kemen of KMK’s Information Resource Center for providing additional content to make this blog more informative (for a change).

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