January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

Summary: January 2011 edition of The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide. Helping you to protect your privacy, your social network security and to manage your network safely.

SHARE:

Note: This guide is now out of date. For the latest guide (September 2011), head on over here.

- -

New Year's resolutions are among us, though voluntary and often roll over from year to year. This time around, though, take one New Year's resolution as a wild card, and lock down your Facebook profile like your own personal Fort Knox, and get it out of the way for the year ahead.

The bad news is that damage could well have already been done, as some features are hidden away and are difficult to find. But, don't panic. You will be surprised how much you can recover in the space of five or ten minutes of clicking on a few buttons.

For my 700th post for ZDNet, here are four guides, each focusing on an intrinsic part of Facebook's privacy and security features, allowing you to work your way through with step by step help in each area.

Gallery guide 1: Secure your profile page

This guide will walk you through the settings and features of your profile page - the main page where your friends can post on your wall, and allow you to learn how to limit certain features while protecting your privacy from outside your friends list.

Gallery guide 2: Secure your account settings

This guide will document how to secure your account - including your password, your networks, your Facebook credits (the site's cashless currency), and explain how you can prevent unauthorised access.

Gallery guide 3: Secure your privacy settings

This guide will walk you through each and every setting of your content, allowing you to confidently change and modify each setting accordingly to allow exactly who you want to access certain content, while preventing others. Also, it will enable you to prevent certain privacy infringing 'features' on your account like Places.

Gallery guide 4: Secure the miscellaneous bits

This guide will explain certain features which can indirectly disclose your location (Places), hide certain friends from particular activities (lists) and prevent you from compromising your account with worm-spreading application links (links).

If you want a particular area looked into which isn't covered, send a message using the Contact form on the left, or leave a comment below.

Topics: Security, Legal, Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

90 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Why bother?

    Just avoid Facebook. Much easier and less stressful, particularly when Facebook changes something without prior notice and your information is no longer secure.
    bmeacham98@...
    • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

      @bmeacham98@... Or not, as an idea. This guide allows you to lock down Facebook so you can enjoy the experience without worrying too much about privacy or security.
      zwhittaker
      • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

        @zwhittaker
        What I take from your comment is follow the guide, I no longer need to worry about privacy or security on Facebook every again. Did I misquote your?
        daikon
      • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

        @daikon This guide isn't the be all and end all. You should still be careful with what you put out there and what you do on the site, because it's very much just as things are in the real world. Just because you have the flu jab doesn't mean you should allow people to sneeze in your face - to use a crappy analogy. The guide is to help, not as a firewall for people's naivety or ignorance.
        zwhittaker
      • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

        @zwhittaker ... I think your guide is a great idea, and I'm glad you presented it. But ... it's akin to writing a guide for safe use for a dangerous weapon or substance or interaction with a dangerous animal. It's STILL DANGEROUS. Perhaps you can sub-title this piece "How to swim more safely with sharks." They're still sharks, but if you MUST play, then at least play a bit more safely. But, for those of us who wish to reduce our risk 100% ... just stay out of the water.
        Trep Ford
      • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

        @Trep Ford

        Like it or not Facebook is a reality with 500 million users just as sharks are a reality. So if i were to swim with them it will be good to know the do's and don'ts.

        So yes this article is quite welcome for the 500 millions people who are swimming with the sharks :)
        DontBeEvil
      • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

        @Trep Ford There are 500 million REGISTERED users, not 500 million ACTIVE users. There is a difference. The extreme majority of FB users dont even realise that you can delete your profile. Those that leave simply deactivate it [thus still "registered"] The Delete option by the way is in the help section ..http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=13016&tq#!/help/?page=842.

        I deleted mine for one basic reason - Privacy. I used to clear all my comments, pictures etc every few months. Yet last weekend Facebook decided to show me my comments from 2 years ago [not to mention deleted "friends" reappearing on my friends' list 18 months later].

        Regardless of how much you "lock down" your FB, it isnt hard for non-friends to view your content.
        jebact
    • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

      @bmeacham98@... Like anything else in life, you need to weigh the benefits against the risks. For most folks, the benefits outweigh the risks, but if you are not very tech savvy or if you find no benefit to participating, then yes, by all means avoid it.
      ejhonda
    • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

      @bmeacham98@... You mean like they just did recently? What a bunch of clams they are!
      tom@...
    • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

      @bmeacham98@...

      Exactly. Just remember Marvin Boggs from Red. Stay off the grid!!!!
      hammeroftruth
    • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

      Well i agree that I think Facebook is certainly no angel and tries it on with its privacy mechanisms, their attitude stinks a big time most of the time.

      All that said... there is no alternative at this moment..so here we go again to Facebook.

      Marc@<a href="http://www.trendyoverhemden.nl">overhemd</a>
      marc56
  • A simpler plan

    Skip facebook.
    They change their policies continually with little warning AND change the policies to acquire more of your information. If privacy is important to you, this is a web site to avoid.
    dfolk2
    • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

      @dfolk2 ... EXACTLY !! :)
      justin.donie@...
    • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

      @dfolk2 A simple better plan:
      What goes in goes out...
      same as what doesn't goes in can't get out...
      Well... just put the minimum in and enjoy your life as the social animal every human being was designed for
      ferdi64
      • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

        @zwhittaker ... My post was reported as spam. the instant I submitted. All it has is 3 short sentences with my opinion. Can anybody review it and repost it?
        ferdi64
      • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

        @ferdi64 Amen Brother!
        Master Skywalker
  • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

    The simplicity of the responses to "skip Facebook" sounds like something from folks who don't have nieces and nephews whose activities are of interest as I do. I love to see what my own 78 year old aunt is quilting, too. The interface is simple enough that all three generations can easily use it. So what are they going to find out? Where I live? Easily accessible in any of a number of places on the Internet. That I like to play Scrabble? I know *I* am not the center of the universe and who really cares about what I do except advertisers?
    katelymt
    • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

      You have missed the point the "skip Facebook" advocates are making. Many of the leaks occurred not because of carelessness on the part of users, but unannounced policy changes and feature "enhancements" by Facebook. When a company has such a cavalier attitude regarding your privacy, you have to think twice about using their services...
      anonymous
      NSFETiger
      • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

        @NSFETiger
        Not to mention the waste of time. This is amusing: http://www.newsweek.com/2009/02/03/you-can-t-friend-me-i-quit.html#
        sdisbrow@...
      • RE: January 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide

        @sdisbrow<br>Funny
        My daughter said the same thing.
        daikon