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Facebook: The Missing Manual by E. A. Vander Veer

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Adjusting Your Privacy Settings

Facebook does a lot of media chest-thumping about how strictly it protects its members' privacy. So, it may come as a surprise that, unless you change them, your privacy settings are set to the slackest possible levels. It's up to you to understand how Facebook's privacy settings work, where to find them, how to adjust them—and to actually spend time battening down the hatches. That's a lot of work! Fortunately, this book has done most of the work for you; all you have to do is read this section and adjust your settings.

Note

In a privacy study reported recently in a British newspaper, 41 percent of Facebook members chose to befriend (Responding to Friend Requests) a plastic frog, thereby granting the fictitious "Freddi Staur" (an anagram for "ID Fraudster") access to personal details such as their home addresses, children's names, and family photo albums. The moral? Don't befriend indiscriminately on Facebook any more than you would offline.

Controlling Who Sees Your Profile and Contact Info

You can make your entire profile off-limits to certain groups of people, such as the people in one of your networks. You can also hide specific parts of your profile—like your contact information and which applications you've added—from whole groups of people, such as one of your networks or all your friends. To do so:

  1. At the top right of any Facebook screen, click the "privacy" link.

    Figure 13-2. 

    Note

    Confusingly, there's another Privacy (big P) link at the bottom ...

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