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.

Kristin Burnham, Senior Editor, InformationWeek.com

November 21, 2013

3 Min Read

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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About the Author(s)

Kristin Burnham

Senior Editor, InformationWeek.com

Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior writer. Kristin's writing has earned an ASBPE Gold Award in 2010 for her Facebook coverage and a Min Editorial and Design Award in 2011 for "Single Online Article." She is a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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