Protecting your identity in Facebook

Introduction: People have become increasingly concerned about Facebook's recent moves such as turning “your” profile page into your identity online without your permission and making your information public by default. There's money in distirbuting your information, such as where you live, likes, friends etc and they have been turning your information over to third parties, ie advertisers for profit -without you knowing.

The evolution (or erosion) of your private data makes for an interesting read at "It is now a fact of life that all of the private data you have been pumping into Facebook for years, does not belong to you, never did, and Facebook can do whatever they like with it, including sharing it with whomever they choose." Nigel Hull, CORE Education. For more on this violation of privacy, go to

If you are concerned about your privacy in Facebook and don't want your private information shared with third party sites without your consent, then be proactive and reclaim your privacy settings in Facebook. Follow some simple rules for how to protect your identity and reputation. People need to check their Facebook settings to…
    • Set your site to private
Remove flirty photos

    • Remove flirty nicknames
    • Remove surnames
Don’t friend randoms

    • Remove mobile numbers
    • Keep the people who can see all your stuff to friends, not friends of friends
    • When you have finished in Facebook, log out and clear your browsers privacy settings to remove all cookies set by Facebook
    • Use a separate browser to use Facebook, and only use Facebook on this browser, nothing else.


Commonsense media provides 3 Simple Rules to Keep in Mind when working in Facebook.

• Stick with your friends. Have your teens limit their privacy settings to Only Friends. That will restrict who sees your kids’ information, including pictures, videos, and applications they use.

• Keep private information private. When filling out their bios, teens can leave fields blank. There is no need for your teens to post their phone numbers or addresses. These features are optional and aren't required to create a Facebook account.

• Don't let your information get away from you. If your teens haven’t restricted who can share their information, their personal data can end up in the hands of marketers. Also, advise your teens to be on the lookout for personal information requests -- like their birthday or music playlist -- from third parties. And make sure your teens uncheck the public search results box so people can't find their Facebook page through a Google search. Taken directly from Commonsense Media - 3 Simple Rules to Keep in Mind

Other great practices from SafetyWeb include:

1. Group your Friends List
2. Remove Yourself From Facebook Search Results
3. Remove Yourself From Google
4. Avoid the Infamous Photo/Video Tag Mistake
5. Protect Your Albums
6. Prevent Stories From Showing Up in Your Friends’ News Feeds
7. Protect Against Published Application Stories
8. Make Your Contact Information Private
9. Avoid Embarrassing Wall Posts
10. Keep Your Friendships Private
Source –

Some of you may be interested in How to Put Facebook into a Privacy Lockdown. Also, there is a website dedicated to providing an independent and open tool for scanning your Facebook privacy settings at

Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Any stories to share? tessagray tessagray 0 124 Oct 13, 2010 by tessagray tessagray

Additional resources to consider
This slideshare (with narration) gives a summary from a tertiary
perspective but includes a comparision of pages vs groups.

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Facebook

Digital Parents - Help centre Facebook