The Always Up-to-Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy

July 9, 2011

The first sentence of this article on LifeHacker says it all; “Keeping your Facebook info private is getting harder and harder all the time – mostly because Facebook keeps trying to make it public.”

With 700 million users – and the parents of users – valiantly trying to keep up with Facebook’s ever shifting exposure tactics (a.k.a. their privacy policies) checking the Always up-to-Date Guide to Managing your Facebook Privacy by Whitson Gordon should become a recurring monthly calendar event.

I’m serious. Given the rate of new feature rollouts/information exposure opportunities, a once-a-month check to ensure you aren’t sharing as much as Facebook would like needs to be as automatic as paying your bills.

If you’re a Chrome user, you’d be wise to also consider downloading the free Internet Shame Insurance app created by another Lifehacker, Adam Pash. This tool “adds privacy reminders to Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail to help you avoid the most common online communication faux pas. The extension sits in the background and springs into action only when you’re about to post a status update or reply all.”

My only point of disagreement with Gordon’s Always Up-to-Date Guide is with the sentence ,“Despite plenty of user complaints, Facebook still hasn’t caught on to the “opt-in” philosophy”. This isn’t a dull-witted or slow moving company that still hasn’t caught on to respecting consumer’s privacy. Rather it’s a company who knows damn well the wishes of its users but blatantly chooses to ignore these in favor of more revenue.

To learn more, see my blogs Privacy Policy Changes – Some Companies Get Notification Right and Your Internet Safety and Privacy Rights – Standards for Respectful Companies.