5 Tips to Staying Safe on Facebook

While meeting with students from Wakefield High School in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia, President Obama was asked for advice from a ninth grader who wants to be president someday. Julianna Goldman and Kate Andersen Brower reported for Bloomberg:

Obama offered, what he called some “practical political advice .. saying that “when you’re young, you know, you make mistakes and you do some stupid stuff.”

“I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life,” Obama said. “That’s number one.”

Goldman and Brower wrote that Obama also offered “I’ve been hearing a lot about young people who, you know, they’re posting stuff on Facebook, and then suddenly they go apply for a job,” Obama said to laughter.

Obama isn’t the only one offering advice on being safe on FaceBook.  Recently, Sarah Perez of ReadWriteWeb provided great tips to staying safe on FaceBook, no matter your age, in her article “5 Easy Steps to Stay Safe (and Private!) on Facebook”.

According to Sarah:

Unbeknownst to most mainstream Facebook users, the social network actually offers a slew of privacy controls and security features which can help you batten down the hatches, so to speak. If used properly, you’ll never have to worry about whether you should friend the boss and your mom. You can friend anyone you want while comfortable in the knowledge that not everyone gets to see everything you post.

The problem in implementing these privacy options is that they’re just too confusing for most non-tech savvy people to handle. And often, folks don’t want to bother to take the time to learn. To simplify the process, we’re offering five easy steps you can take today to help make your Facebook experience safer, more secure, and more private.

Sarah’s provides five detailed but easy steps to follow steps on staying safe. Briefly, these steps are:

Step 1: Make Friend Lists

This step–although time consuming–according to Sarah “will be one of the most useful things you can do on Facebook.”

Step 2: Who Can See What on Your Profile

In this step, you will need to “think carefully about the sorts of things you want public and the things you want private. Should “everyone” get to see photos you’re tagged in? Or would you like to limit this only to those you’ve specifically chosen as Facebook friends?”

Step 3: Who Can See Your Address and Phone Number

You can also determine who can see your address and phone number from FaceBook. You probably don’t want everyone to have access to your home address and phone number.

Step 4: Change Who Can Find You on Facebook via Search

Step 5: Stop Sharing Personal Info with Unknown Applications

According to Sarah, “Using Facebook’s default settings, you’re unknowingly sharing a plethora of personal information (and your friends’ info too!) with various Facebook applications and the developers who created them. The problem is so bad that the ACLU recently created their own Facebook Quiz to demonstrate how much information an app has access to.”

In this step, Sarah walks you through how to stop sharing your personal information.

You can read the entire article here

What steps are you taking to stay safe on Facebook?