Friend or Foe: Privacy Takes Priority on Facebook

Privacy Takes Priority on Facebook. It’s called a social network, and it’s probably the most gargantuan thing to happen to the Internet going by the fact that it has swallowed 500 billion users and is not yet done, not by a long shot.

However, you could argue that Facebook is more a combination of societies that are either narcissistic or voyeuristic, or both; it’s a playing field that’s being used for social entertainment and communication and business and marketing no doubt, but it’s also all about being interested in what others are doing and in showing off our best side.

Think about it – would you put up photos of yourself that are unflattering, or would you post status messages that portray you in a bad light (unless you’re too drunk to realize what you’re doing)? And those with a darker side (that all of us prefer to keep hidden) are sure to snoop around the profile of a “friend” they have a crush on or an ex they still haven’t got over, and stalk their wall to see who’s saying what and how they’re responding.

Let’s face it – for all the shrill voices that we’re raising on the threats to privacy that Facebook poses, we’re not really jumping up immediately to get off it either. So it’s safe to say that Facebook is an addiction which drives compulsive behavior, whether you like it or not. There will surely be times when you’re tempted to call it quits and throw in the towel, and hope it will land on Facebook’s face and cover it from your view, but sooner or later you’re back again, caught up in the roller coaster ride that this social network is – you may scream and shout, yet you hold on for dear life and are ready for another go the next time you visit.

Facebook Privacy

So for all you Facebook users out there who are wise enough to know that too much of Facebook is a bad thing and that the key to enjoying it is in moderation, here are a few simple yet effective tips that will help you protect your privacy and also ensure that you use this platform in the most optimal way:

1. Keep your friend list private

Facebook allows you to do this, so change your settings to make your list of friends visible only to you. You can avoid probing questions and potential embarrassment, and most important of all, you prevent people from snooping into your Facebook life.

2. Approve who can post to your wall and who can see posts on your wall

This is the best way to prevent embarrassing and offending posts from being displayed on your wall. Provide these privileges only to those you trust.

3. Prevent applications from posting on your wall

Some Facebook apps are sneaky – if you download them or even just click on a link, it posts a message to your wall. Some of them could be embarrassing, like if you’re looking a page relating to sex and your wall shows a message that you were checking out sex on Facebook. So after you visit any app or check a Like on a fan page, check your profile to see that there are no embarrassing consequences; alternatively, you could just stop using apps and visiting fan pages you don’t trust or which are dubious.

4. Make tagged photos and videos of you private

You spend so much time and effort in ensuring that your Facebook profile is decent and scandal-free; so when a “friend” posts an embarrassing photo or video of you and tags you in it, you risk your reputation being tarnished. Prevent this from happening by setting tagged photos and videos of you visible only to you.

5. Keep checking Facebook’s privacy settings to see if they’ve been modified

Remember the time not so long ago when Facebook made some changes and all privacy settings went back to the default option, which is that everyone on the Internet can see everything on your profile if they know your name? Well, the Internet giant claims it will never happen again, but you can never be too sure when your personal and professional reputations are on the line. So once in a while, go into your privacy settings and check to see if all is as you left it.

So irrespective of Facebook being a friend or a foe, privacy issues must take priority when you get on to this social network.

This guest post is contributed by Bailey Digger, she writes about web design degrees at She welcomes your comments at baileydigger189(@)gmail(.)com.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.