Now that I have got your attention, I will change the heading to:
How to use Facebook safely
I have had 3 conversations this week with people who are ‘afraid of Facebook’ because:
- They don’t want their identity stolen
- They don’t want the world knowing their details
- They think they will be robbed
- They believe their children will be kidnapped (from photos on Facebook)
Lets start by looking at how Facebook works…
If you adjusted your privacy settings correctly, the only people able to see your Facebook info, is your ‘friends’. I say ‘friends’ loosely. Friends = anyone you add to Facebook. YOU have the control over who you add as a friend and what they can see. If you don’t want strangers to see your information, don’t add them. It’s as simple as that. You can group your friends. This way, your students/workmates etc can only see the information that you want them to see. At the bottom of this post you will find some tips for setting your privacy settings.
It would be easier for someone to stalk your house and observe toys in the yard, notice that your car is not in the carport etc, than to see a photo on your private Facebook site and track down your address.
Just recently, I went to Europe for 6 weeks. While I was gone, I left my 25 year old son, who is a martial arts champion, my 23 yo son who is home during the day and 20 year old daughter, who is also home most days, in the house with my over protective dog who goes crazy if a leaf falls off a tree. Here I was away in Europe, posting photos of my trip in Facebook and unbeknown to me, someone could have robbed my house. Really?
Yes… bad things do happen, but lets put on our seat belts before we travel. Take the best precautions and enjoy the benefits of networking with long lost cousins, keeping in touch with friends and facilitating e-learning which reaches people in a more engaging and contemporary manner.
Tips for privacy
There is no point in me recreating the wheel, so I have found some postings from other bloggers about Privacy settings:
- How to sort your friends into groups with different settings for each group eg: People you work with or your students could be kept from viewing your private photos. How to group privacy settings via the friends list
- Adjusting your privacy settings
- 10 Privacy settings every Facebook user should know
- A guide to Facebook privacy
- The risky business of using social media for teaching
Let me know what you think by writing your comments on the comments link.