Social Question

ibstubro's avatar

Important 'dos and don'ts' for a privacy minded individual opening their first Facebook account?

Asked by ibstubro (18636points) May 12th, 2016

If you had it to do all over again, what would you do to safeguard your personal information on Facebook?

Can you stop people from ‘creeping’ you without permission?

Exactly how much of your information has to be public, and how much of that information can be shared from user-to-user?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

23 Answers

Seek's avatar

1: Use a fake name that looks like a real name.
2: Use a fake/dump email account to set it up.
3: Set your posts to “friends only”
4: Set your friend requests to “friends of friends only”.
5: If you really want to be sure no one contacts you, you can set it so no one can send you messages unless they’re on your friends’ list.

At that point, though, there’s really no point in joining Facebook.

The only things that have to be public are your name and your profile picture. Anything else can be set to friends only.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I only add people that I know in real life to my friend list. I never accept friend requests from strangers.

The setting section has an option to filter what people can see. You can make things publish, or only accessible to friends or close friends or yourself… yeah, you get the picture. You can even let specific people see your things too. However, your profile and cover photos will always get notified to everyone.

Don’t post too personal things on Facebook like your boarding pass, tickets, things like that. But maybe you know that already.

Whenever you go to someone’s profile, your name will be display on that person’s suggestion section. In case you don’t want that person to know about you, create a dummy account with fake information.

You may not encounter it, but I’ll warn you anyway. Never, ever, ever click on anything like this. Basically they are websites that need to gather your Facebook information to generate “results”. You have to give them all of your account’s information to use them. When you see them, run away, don’t ever look back, don’t ever think about them again.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Don’t open it in the first place.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I use it for close friends, family and work contacts only. It’s not a bad way to get messages out, share pics etc. Beyond that you can be in troubled waters quickly.

ragingloli's avatar

Do not open a facebook account.

jca's avatar

Be careful what groups you join and what you post in the groups.

ibstubro's avatar

Say I wanted to open a Facebook account to have a way to stay in contact with Fluther members in case the site isn’t available?

canidmajor's avatar

@ibstubro: A few users here have accounts under names that are close to their Fluther names. I’m pretty sure they do just for that reason.

jca's avatar

If you want to use it for both your online friends as well as your “real” friends, then use your real name and just set your privacy settings to “friends only.”

ucme's avatar

Almost a year ago I bought the bullet & opened a fb account, don’t use it that much but it has its uses.
I was well prepped on security/privacy concerns by the wife & my daughter so all’s good

stanleybmanly's avatar

Facebook is one of those endeavors that appeals to me not one bit. Enthusiats seeking to push me into Face book get the boring lecture about the woman championing the therapeutic benefits in pet rattlesnakes.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Don’t share anything unless you are sure you want everyone to see it.

Do read all the privacy settings. Do click on the “See what your profile looks to other people” link.

Do make your profile unsearchable via Google. Do decide whether or not to make your profile searchable among all Facebook users, as well as who can message you.

Do realize that although every photograph and album has different privacy settings, there are a couple of things you can’t control: 1) all cover photos and profile pictures are public. If you replace your cover photo or profile pic, remember to make the old one more private (set to “friends” instead of “public”). 2) If one of your friends tags one of your photos, it becomes visible to all of their friends. Actually, that last one applies to any kind of post, not just photos.

Do realize that every time you like or comment on a post, that event shows up in all your friends’ newsfeeds, even if they are not friends of the people whose posts you are liking or commenting on. You have an audience every time you like or comment.

Do realize that if you use a fake name, Facebook may catch you at it (this actually happened to me) and threaten to lock you out of your account. You will then have the option of either changing your username or providing identification to prove that the fake name is real. If you screw it up, you’ll lose access to everything you’ve posted on Facebook, as well as your contacts. Further to this point, given that access can somewhat arbitrarily be taken away, if there’s anyone among your Facebook friends who you need to be in contact with, make sure you have a backup way to communicate with them.

Don’t take quizzes or answer surveys that require installing an app or clicking an OK button to proceed. More often than not, they’re taking your private information, and they may actually be hacking your account.

Don’t give them a phone number or email (other than the one you signed up with). Personally, I have a Facebook-dedicated gmail account that was only used to sign up for my account. It gets ignored, so it doesn’t matter to me whether anyone gets hold of it. You can give them a phony birthdate if you wish (probably keep a record of it in case you’re asked to provide it at some point); you can also hide your birthdate from your profile. I use my real month/date because, heck, birthday messages from friends are nice. I’d recommend telling Facebook you’re younger than you are, because the ads for anyone over 30 are really fucking depressing.

That’s all I can think of for the moment.

Kardamom's avatar

In addition to all the good suggestions above, never, never, never set any of your posts to “public” and never, never, never click on anyone else’s post that has been set to “public”. Ever. Just don’t do it. Unless you enjoy looking at deathbed pictures of people you’ve never met before.

Also, do not “like” or comment on anyone’s post that has been set to “public”. That’s how you’ll end up with stranger’s deathbed scenes, thousands of wedding pictures of people you don’t know, cesarean section photos from people you don’t know, and pictures of sick kids in the hospital that you don’t know.

Every time you click on someone else’s “public” post, it will send your “like” and comments, and the post itself, to everyone in your friend’s list. If your friends do this unspeakable thing, you will see everything they “like” or comment upon, and all the accompanying photos of people you don’t know. Just don’t do it!

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Kardamom I’m not entirely sure what kind of public posts you’re referring to, but that’s not how public posts work in general. Perhaps there’s a specific type of link you’re talking about? I don’t think I’ve ever seen this.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

It’s the internet. Don’t share anything you don’t want repeated. It’s pretty simple.

People are so worried about sharing things, yet what harm is there if it’s innocent? I share many things that are public and I haven’t been stalked, robbed or harmed. And I really don’t care if others see that I liked something or commented on a public post. Nothing on the internet is private.

If you are my friend you’ll see the real me with all my likes. If you don’t like it that’s not my problem.

ibstubro's avatar

Really, all this does is give me second thoughts about opening an account. Again. About the time I make up my mind to join Facebook the idea becomes too daunting and I quit.
Millions of people have accounts. It can’t be that big of a deal.

I appreciate all the advice and info, though.

Seek's avatar

I treat Facebook about the same as I do Fluther.

My name is Alyson Mitchell. My maiden name is Carlin, and the statistical likelihood that anyone on the internet cares about my broke ass is so incredibly low that there’s no point in freaking out about it. In fact, I want to make it really easy for certain people to find me, should they have the desire to. (Dad, wherever you are, here I am.)

The people I know who really worry about their internet privacy are teachers. And they have a good reason.

jca's avatar

I use my real name on FB and I have a bunch of Jelly friends, some who use their real names and some who use fake or “Fluther” names. I use the privacy settings and I try to be careful about what I post in groups. FB is a great way to keep in touch with people and for the Fluther people, it gives another dimension to what we discuss here. If someone talks about where they live but on FB they’re posting photos of it, of their dog, of their daily activity, it add to Fluther. I don’t talk about a lot on Fluther that I do on FB. That’s just an example of how it makes Fluther more dimensional. IF and when Fluther ever goes away, we have FB to keep in touch with.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

I wasn’t spending much time on Fluther when Gail passed away. I would not have known if I wasn’t facebook friends with Flutherites.

Guitarded's avatar

If you are worried about security it’s probably too late. The internet is hideously insecure, modern operating systems and browsers have enough holes that your data can be mined. Add into that the social engineering sorts of activities that individuals and companies get up to, nothing is secret.

CuriosityKills's avatar

I only put what they required in my profile and set the privacy access to things like my birth date to “Only Me” I have very little personal information shared, and periodically go through my profile information to ensure that they haven’t reset it.

They actually have a fairly well guided tour of the security and privacy settings, so it’s a bit easier and more transparent now.

I also have things like Social Ads turned off, so if I like a local restaurant me name won’t appear in an ad on my friends’ feeds saying “Curiosity likes Three Brothers’ Pizza!” or some-such.

There’s also a thing where Apps Others Use can access your information – uncheck all that stuff, too.

And wouldn’t you know that when I went to get the link, it showed that I’d approved access to my Bio and stuff – ummm… no. That’s why it’s important to periodically go through it, because if you switch browsers or do some sorts of updates, a lot of these sites and apps reset your privacy choices to defaults – not just Facebook.

jca's avatar

@ibstubro: Like you point out, millions of people have FB accounts. It isn’t that big of a deal.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

If you do open an account with a fake name, do not send a bunch of friend requests. Let them come to you. If you send too many requests in one day FB will make you provide proof that you are who you say you are. They will close your account until you provide a copy of your drivers license.

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