Since the recent introduction of the universal “Like” button on websites all across the internet, more and more people are poking around on Facebook and getting all up in yo’ business. Basically, when you choose to “Like” something on a website (food, clothes, companies, anything), you are giving that site permission to look into your profile, and at the same time, drawing other fellow Facebookers to your profile when your “Like” appears in the newsfeed and on your page.
That means you’re drawing a whole bunch of attention to the fact that you “are too drunk to go into work today,” or that your favorite hobby is “chasing skirts.” And while that may be funny to your friends and your “Friends,” other people, like the HR specialist at that job you just applied for or the recruiter at your first-choice grad school, may feel otherwise (see our article Throw Some STDs On It).
Now, we would never be so bold as to suggest deactivating your Facebook account or even stop posting things to your profile (oh no, that would be total social suicide), but we are suggesting that you become a little more cognizant of exactly who you are sharing your business with and what business you’re sharing. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- What about your Friends? Now, we know how popular you feel when you see that you have 20 friend requests in 10 minutes, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept everybody. Unless you know who the person is or trust your mutual friends, we suggest ignoring them. That may sound rude, but there are still crazies out there -even on Facebook- so, it’s best to play it safe on the friend tip.
- Get on the List! As Mashable.com mentions, the list function on Facebook can be one of your most useful privacy tools. With it, you can create lists for certain groups of people and include or exclude them from certain aspects of your profile. This will be especially handy when your parents and all their friends think it’s “cool” to keep up with you on Facebook. Simply block their list from everything except your name, school and job, and you’re good to go! By the way if their checking for you on Facebook, make sure you have a link for them to your PayPal account as well, all donations accepted, we’re just saying.
- Don’t take it personal. While Facebook is a great tool to use to keep in touch with friends and family, it’s not a good idea to have all of your personal information listed in your profile. Things like your school and city are cool, but you’d better leave your address, cell phone and baby mama’s apartment number out of your profile; unless you’re up for some random phone calls and even more random visitors. Remember, the crazies are still out there and you could be making their job that much easier.
Although Facebook has implemented some new privacy policies as recently as this week, there’s still a need to guard the information in your profile carefully. And if you wouldn’t put it on a sign in your front yard, should you really be putting it on Facebook?