Facebook Timeline Users Tightening Reins on Privacy

If you’ve found yourself deleting friends, followers and comments from social networks such as Facebook, tightening your privacy controls and strictly monitoring posts or photos you’ve been mentioned in, you’re certainly not alone. A growing number of social networking users are monitoring their online reputations with a careful eye, considerate of the reality that you can never really know who might be looking at your profile.

In a survey on privacy management released by the Pew Research Center, 63% of social network users surveyed indicated that they have deleted friends, while another 44% admit to deleting comments made by others. An additional 37% say they have removed their names from photo tags.

In light of the upgraded Facebook Timeline profiles, it makes sense that social network users have been prompted to edit their personal profiles and monitor online reputations more closely. People now have a greater access to updates from the past and the options for privacy controls have grown significantly since the early days of Facebook.

Because of the constantly changing privacy controls on Facebook, it can often seem like a continuous effort to maintain control of online privacy, but doing so can have big rewards in the way of keeping your updates from ending up in front of the wrong eyes.

4 Essential Tips for Controlling Privacy on Facebook Timeline

I. Monitoring Posts You’ve Been Tagged In

When it comes to your privacy on Facebook, there’s a certain amount of consideration that must be given to the fact that we cannot control what others will say when they tag us in comments, updates or photos. Because of this, I highly recommend making an effort monitor those posts or photos that you have been tagged in before they appear on your profile. To do this, navigate to your privacy settings, select “how tags work” and turn on tag reviews. You may also want to change your settings so that posts you are tagged in are visible only to you. If you wish, you can later change the visibility on each individual post that you are tagged in.

II. Creating Lists on Facebook

Let’s just get right to the point. Certain updates on Facebook you probably just don’t want to share with your entire friends list. Whether it be professional updates that your close friends and family may not be interested in, or photos of your children that you don’t want to share with 2,693 friends, finally Facebook lists have created a solution for separating each post according to which friends or public subscribers you want them to be visible to. Consider creating a list specifically for family and close friends, a list for professional contacts only and others that you deem necessary. Note that you can also add specific friends to your restricted list, disallowing them from viewing your updates at all without having to delete them from your list of friends.

III. Mobile Updates

When you navigate to your privacy settings, the first thing you will see at the top of the page are your privacy options when updating from a mobile device such as iPad or smartphone using the Facebook app. If you regularly use your mobile device to connect on Facebook, be sure to change these settings accordingly to avoid sharing updates with people that you may not want being able to see them.

IV. Interacting on Facebook

Controlling privacy on Facebook Timeline also means being considerate of which pages you “like” and the comments that you leave on the posts and photos of others. Be aware that these interactions often appear in the news feed of those on your friends list, so before you decide to post that comment or “like” something on Facebook, ask yourself if you want your friends and family to be able to see it. If not, navigate over to your profile and click “activity log” to change the visibility of these interactions to hide them from your Timeline.

A final key reminder for controlling privacy on Facebook Timeline is to be aware that when you delete a friend, that person will remain a subscriber to your public updates unless you elect to block them. Additionally, keep in mind that just because you opt to hide an interaction from appearing on your Timeline, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t still exist. It’s always best to be considerate of anything that you post before you post it, but if you have doubts, sometimes it’s simply better to delete the post entirely than to hide it from your Facebook Timeline. At any rate, don’t find yourself at risk of handing over the wrong information to the wrong people. Always take advantage of whatever privacy controls that are made available to you, and you might just save yourself some trouble in the future.

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