Stay safe on FB

With Facebook becoming an inseparable part of our daily lives, it’s time we start paying some attention to securing the personal data that goes on it

Snug, smug and secure about the photos, videos, location check-ins and status updates you casually bung into your Facebook? Unless you want Facebook to be an open book about your life for close associates, mere acquaintances and absolute aliens alike, you really shouldn’t be so complacent. You never know when this fecklessness will come back to bite you.

Forget the snooping headhunter who could trip some plum job prospects because of a nasty remark about your boss or company. You could well be sharing more than necessary information with total strangers who can exploit it in ways that you can’t easily imagine or fathom.

Better safe than sorry

Don’t accept Facebook’s default settings for everything. Adjust Facebook privacy settings to help protect your identity. It is merely a matter of a few minutes and clicks but something that most of us never bother about.

Don’t add-on FB applications with wanton impunity. Once you allow an application in, it has access to your account/profile and there is no guarantee that it won’t be misused by an app developer with malintent on his mind. Ditto when you check out an auto-shared article through a news app, take a quiz, play a game or fill-in a survey through FB. You personal data is being shared with everything you allow access you via Facebook. You need to audit these once a month in Setting>Apps. Kill any approvals you don’t need or are unnecessary. Setup special passwords via Settings>Security for the FB apps you want so that your FB password can’t be compromised.

And don’t think that once you’ve made your choices here, you will never have to review them again. Ensure that your revisit Security and Privacy every few months as Facebook’s developers alter/a­dd/subtract options from time to time. Also, build up a Trusted Contact list. This will help you in case you are locked out out your own account at some stage. You will find this at Settings>Security>Tr­usted Contacts.

Setting privacy rules

Always view your Facebook profile as others see it. What would you want a known person to see about you? And perhaps more importantly, what would you want an unknown person to glean.

The first thing you need to do is go to Privacy and see how you want to tackle with the three questions there: who can see my stuff? who can contact me? and who can look me up? You should spend a little time and delve into each of the subsections here. Think twice before selecting those carte blanche Public and Everyone settings.

To safeguard your privacy, it maybe a good idea to restrict the people who can see your posts, contact you and look you up (by email or phone). You will find all these options in Settings. If you want to disallow friends from posting to your time — or maybe approve these before they appear online — go to Setting>Timeline and Tagging Settings and see what you want enabled or disabled. You can also restrict the “Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline.”

Cluttering your email with those pointless Facebook notifications just doesn’t make sense. You can easily switch them off by going to Settings>Notifications>Email and choosing “Only notifications about your account, security and privacy”. Else you can also fine tune it turn on notifications specifically for messages or posts on your timeline. Similarly, you can also control the notifications that show up on your phone.

Crushed by Candy?

If you start foaming at the mouth every time you receive those sickenly pe­rsist­ent Candy Cru­sh invitations or Birt­hday Calendar requ­ests, here’s what you need to do: Go to Settings>Blocking. Apart from being able to block unw­anted trolls and pests, you can Block app invitations from here. All you need to do is add the name of the friend from whom you have been receiving these invites and it’s done. You’re not blocking the person out, just those automatically generated invitations. You can also block Events invites from people as well as stall specific apps by name.

(The author is a freelance

personal tech writer)

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