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June 18, 2010


While facebook privacy settings have certainly been at the top of the news lately, most of the buzz has been about sharing private information worldwide without facebook users consent. Of course this is very troubling, especially for people who use their facebook as a private platform to communicate with their friends and family. However, keeping your facebook private is becoming increasingly difficult, as the social network provides more and more ways for strangers to network online and it becomes increasingly socially acceptable to get to know someone virtually. That’s why it’s extremely important that you know not only what your facebook privacy settings are, but have a clear strategy for using them. 

Create Groups of facebook Friends

One of the most important things that you can do to manage your online reputation on facebook is to separate your different friends into groups. Have family members that you want to have access to pictures of your new house, kids and family vacations? Create a family group for your most intimate connections. Don’t want to remove your album from the last night of college? Share it just with your friends from school. Grouping your friends allows you to determine who sees what and where so that you don’t have to worry that all your different contacts will have the same view.

Preview Your Profile

Unless your facebook profile is set to a very private setting, it’s most likely that you’re name comes up when someone searches you either online or in facebook. Make sure you know what information is being shared with the public at all times. For some people, especially entrepreneurs, politicians and other public figures,  it’s important that your profile can be found on facebook -- it’s one of the best ways to let people know what your company is up to or what is the latest piece of work you’ve published. On the other hand, it’s important to know what content is being shared publicly so you don’t mix your private life with your public life online.

Previewing your profile can also be extremely helpful if you’re interested in how a specific person may view your facebook page. Luckily, facebook has built a special feature into facebook’s privacy settings that allows you to see how each individual views your page -- simply type in their name and you’ll be able to see their exact view and capabilities.

Limit User Capabilities

Part of your privacy settings, which is typically overlooked, is the ability to change how your friends can interact on your profile. For example, perhaps you want your profile to be very professional, so you limit your facebook friends from posting to your wall, but allow them to comment on your posts. Another option is to give specific people the ability to post to your wall, while restricting the ability of other people who may post spam or irrelevant posts / private information.

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