Facebook continues to add new features and services at an alarming rate, many times without even telling you what they are or what they do. Have you been jaded by a new Facebook feature that exposed your personal life to the Internet? Many of us have been without our knowledge – that’s the way Facebook rolls. But there are ways to protect yourself and still enjoy Facebook.
Remember: Facebook is all about the money. They are a publicly traded corporation, and they must show revenues to please their shareholders and Wall Street. How does Facebook accomplish this as a free service? Selling ads to you and selling your information to advertisers.
Here are five basic steps you can do right now to protect yourself:
- Turn Off the Autoplay of Videos: Everyone hates videos that autoplay – they interrupt your flow, eat up your bandwidth, and just are generally annoying. Luckily, turning off videos from autoplaying isn’t hard at all. Click the arrow on the far right of the screen and choose settings. Click the videos option on the left side of the screen and turn off autoplay. Done!
- Delete Your Recent Searches: Search history is retained in Facebook. Does Facebook use this information to show ads to you? We don’t know, but they could. Let’s just flush this once and for all. Go back into your settings and select privacy. Under “who can see my stuff,” click on USE ACTIVITY LOG. Now, now on the left side, click on MORE underneath comments. Find search, click on it, and then clear all searches (top right). Do you see how hidden some of these items are in Facebook?
- Privacy Settings: Repeat the steps from above to get into your privacy settings. There are a number of settings that you may want to set here so that your Facebook world isn’t exposed to everyone. If you have been on Facebook prior to 2010, this is all open by default. Lock your privacy settings down right away.
- Stop Unwanted Notifications: Notifications can suck the energy out of your Facebook time. Who cares about your high school buddy’s record on Farmville? Turn this stuff off. Click on settings once again and go to notifications. Set to your desired comfort level.
- Social Advertising: Remember what we said about Facebook’s need to please their shareholders and Wall Street? This is where it starts: advertising. You can turn off two settings for how ads are displayed and opt-out of advertising. This may vary from location to location depending on local laws. Set to your desired comfort level.
There you have it. Some very simple but effective ways to lock down your Facebook page and enjoy what Facebook is all about – sharing information and keeping up with friends.
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