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11/21/2013
09:06 AM
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10 Most Misunderstood Facebook Privacy Facts

Facebook privacy changes seem to never end. Get a grip on your account with these privacy settings tips and tricks.

6. Shared album creators determine privacy settings.
One of Facebook's newer features is the shared photo album, which lets multiple people upload images to one spot. If you're invited to contribute to a friend's album, be aware that he or she -- not you -- determines the privacy settings for the photos.

Shared albums have privacy settings similar to those of traditional Facebook photo albums. The creator sets its privacy settings to either public, friends of contributors, or contributors only. The creator of the album also has the ability to edit and delete photos, while the album's contributors can make changes only to the photos they upload.

If you're unsure about how your friend has set the album's privacy settings, navigate to the album's home page and hover over the icon that appears below the description to find out.

7. Your Facebook apps may cause problems.
If your Facebook account has been hacked before -- and even if it hasn't -- it's a good idea to review your list of apps for any you may not remember granting access to your information. Rogue apps and excessive permissions are often the culprit behind malware attacks and privacy and security issues.

To find your list of apps, click the gear icon in the top-right of your page and select "Account Settings," then from the menu on the left, click "Apps." Remove unwanted apps by clicking the "x" or adjust the settings by clicking the pencil icon that appears next to each one.

8. Location tags on photos have the same privacy settings.
Location check-ins, such as at restaurants or museums, or photos tagged with a location appear in Graph Searches. One thing to be wary of: If you added a location tag to a photo, the photo's privacy setting is the same as your location's privacy setting. You can't separate the two.

To review your tag history, view your Activity Log and sort it by "Posts you're tagged in." This filter will also display photo tags. To delete a tag or change a location, click the pencil icon.

9. Control profile tags.
If you're afraid that your Facebook friends may tag you in embarrassing photos, review them before they go live on your profile. To do this, visit your privacy settings page and select "Timeline and Tagging" from the menu on the left. Under the first group of settings, you have the option to review posts that friends tag you in before they appear in your timeline.

This setting alerts you when you've been tagged in a status update or photo, for example, and lets you choose whether or not you want it to appear on your timeline. While this helps you control what appears on your profile, the update or photo will still appear in search, news feed, and other places on Facebook.

10. Unflattering photo? Request that it be removed.
While you can always untag yourself in an unflattering photo, that image still lives on in Facebook. If you want it gone from the social network, Facebook lets you request that the owner take it down.

Navigate to the photo that you want removed. At the bottom, click "Options" and select "Report/Remove Tag." Click "I want this photo removed from Facebook," then select a reason. Facebook will alert the photo's owner of your request, and if your friend is nice enough, he or she will remove it.

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Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2013 | 7:42:25 PM
Facebook monitors non-Facebook searches, too
The last time I went onto Amazon.com, that site suggested reading choices the were so on-target that it was positively eerie. I later learned that if you don't turn facebook off, they monitor ALL your online services, and hands the results to others, including Amazon.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/21/2013 | 11:40:48 AM
Re: Apps are the worst
Facebook is sneaky when it comes to apps--thanks for bringing that point up. I'd bet that very few people read the fine print about what information and permissions individual apps request before they click "Ok."
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/21/2013 | 10:35:37 AM
Assume they can see it
These ambiguous settings are the reason I have backed off Facebook. It's become too public. Even when you lock down your privacy settings, some comments and photos can slip through as this article by Kristin shows. It's definitely a good rule of thumb to assume your grandma or employer can see your FB content. You can't go too wrong that way.
cwgservices
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cwgservices,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/21/2013 | 10:33:25 AM
Contacts and Messages
To me, the two things that really need to be protected are private messages and my contact list.

Just because I import my contact list from gmail to see if some old friends are on Facebook, that doesn't mean I am willing to have Facebook, or worse yet some maverick app on Facebook, send mail to all my contacts. That is totally unacceptable.

And private messages need to be just that: private. When I 'message' someone, it's because I didn't want to post the information to the world. I have some concern that Facebook may decide to allow searching on these private conversations. I hope I'm wrong about that.
cwgservices
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cwgservices,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/21/2013 | 10:25:49 AM
Apps are the worst
I really don't mind having my photos or my comments public. If I didn't want people to see them I wouldn't be putting them on Facebook.

Apps, on the other hand, are totally out of control.

I appreciate the tip on removing apps, but it seems to me the whole app infrastructure is designed to steal your friends list, your email contacts, maybe your firstborn if they can find a way to take it digitally. Apps are insidious, and it is way way way too hard to keep them out.

I'd like to see a lot more discussion on this aspect.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2013 | 10:18:59 AM
Searches
Blocking yourself from appearing in searches was a bit of a false privacy anyway if the person was also on LinkedIn or Google+.  All you had to do was find someone they were connected to on one of those platforms, search for that person on Facebook, and then you could typically find their Facebook profile through that person's Friends list.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2013 | 10:00:10 AM
Re: Simple answer
@Kristin Definitely, people really have to learn what they're getting themselves into when they use social media; otherwise, they'll have a very rude awakening down the road.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/21/2013 | 9:42:38 AM
Re: Simple answer
That's a great point, and another reason why knowing your settings inside-out is essential if you're going to use Facebook.
Ariella
IW Pick
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2013 | 9:35:39 AM
Re: Simple answer
@Kristin It's not just your grandmother you should be thinking of but any potential employer. One of my FB connections had a transplant and posts about her health regulary. When she was looking for a job, she wanted to know if she can hide her medical history so that it wouldn't count against her. Once it's out there on FB,  though, it's likely that an employer can find it, and the individual would not be able to prove that it was the health issue that made the person decide not to hire her.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/21/2013 | 9:27:18 AM
Re: Simple answer
Lorna, that's a very good way to look at it. I've had several experts tell me this: "If you wouldn't want your grandmother to read it or see it, don't post it." Posting on Facebook and elsewhere really just comes down to common sense. It surprising how many people lack that.
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