Face book offers many privacy controls that may not be easy for consumers to understand.
- Think before typing. Even if a user deletes his or her account, which takes Face book about a month, some information can remain in Facebook’s computers for up to 90 days.
- Regularly check Face book exposure. Each month, users should check how their page looks to others. Review individual privacy settings if necessary.
- Protect basic information. Set the audience for profile items, such as town or employer. And users should remember: Sharing info with “friends of friends” could expose them to tens of thousands of strangers.
- Know what can’t be protected. Each user’s name and profile picture are public. To protect one’s identity, consumers shouldn’t use a photo or use one that doesn’t show their face.
- “UnPublic” the wall. Set the audience for all previous wall posts to just friends.
- Turn off Tag Suggest. If users would rather not have Face book automatically recognize their face in photos, they could disable that feature in their privacy settings. The information will be deleted.
- Block apps and sites that snoop. Unless users intercede, friends can share personal information about them with apps. To block that, they should use controls to limit the information apps can see.
- Keep wall posts from friends. Users don’t have to share every wall post with every friend. They can also keep certain people from viewing specific items in their profile.
- When all else fails, deactivate. When a user deactivates his or her account, Face book retains the profile data but the account is made temporarily inaccessible. Deleting an account makes it inaccessible forever.