3.15.2015

Facebook® Protection For Kids (or Anyone)

I realize this post has nothing to do with food or gardening. However, with 3 kids myself, I have been doing some research (yes, it took me doing nearly 2-hours of googling) to figure out how to set the privacy settings on Facebook® the way I wanted them. And I found out it wasn't as easy as I thought. I decided to create a step-by-step guide for parents or anyone else to best protect them.

I see a lot of my kids' friends with public FB pages filled a billion pictures of themselves all over the place. I will not judge anyone who thinks this is perfectly fine for their kids. But I am paranoid that some sick bastard is going to see my kid and hunt them down. On a lighter note, you may be job hunting and don't want any future employer to see you straddling your Harley in a bikini.



I present to you a step-by-step guide to anonymity (sort of) on Facebook®.


1.  View the page as the public sees it.


Click on the lock symbol in the upper right corner of the page. Click "Who can see my stuff?".  In the drop down box you'll see a link for "View As." This will allow you to view your page from the point of view of the public or a friend. You can see what areas you need to secure from public view.


2.  Click See More Settings (look at photo above, at the very bottom of drop down box)


Here you can change who sees and posts to your timeline, tag you in posts, see your contact info, and send you messages and friend requests. Click on the Edit buttons on the right hand side to change the settings. On the left, you'll see Timeline and Tagging, Notifications, Apps, and Ads. Under these you can change the settings for those annoying dings on your phone every time your Facebook® friends post about their flat iron not working. For the Apps and Ads, you can change which ones have access to your photos and locations.


You can change who sees your posts. I don't know why they call it "future posts" when they are posts that are immediately viewable by the public, right? Anyway, you can set this to friends only if you want. I suggest going thru this section line by line and carefully reading each question and changing the setting, if you choose.


Under Timeline and Tagging, you can change who adds pictures or posts to your timeline. If you are at a party and someone tags you in a photo beer bonging some Samuel Adams, you might not want that on your timeline for Aunt Myrtle to see. This setting allows you to review anything you are tagged in before it is put on your wall. You will either click Enabled or Disabled to change the setting to your liking.


3.  Go to the About page.


Here is where you would enter (or not) information about yourself such as Work and Education or Details About You. See where the circle is in the photo above? If you hover your cursor there in each line (Work, Professional Skills, etc) a little icon will pop up that you can click on to edit it. Note: This icon will only pop up if you have entered information in the section. Once you click the edit button, you can edit the privacy settings.


Click the globe icon and it shows a drop down menu for deciding who gets to see that particular information about you. You can choose between Public, Friends, Only Me, and Custom. Note: You must do this with each and every line item.


4.  Still under the About tab, scroll down to see each block (I don't know the proper FB term for them) for your Friends, Movies, Books, Sports, etc. that you like. You'll have to go thru and change the privacy setting on each one of these too.


Click the pencil in the upper right corner, click Edit Privacy, and choose again from who can see your likes/dislikes.



5.  Decide what photos you are comfortable with the public seeing. This part of FB sucks ass, I'll be honest. It took me a minute to figure this part out, and I think it's a poor design.  I'll explain below. Anyway, here's what you need to know.  


Your cover photo is the large banner-sized pic. The one you currently have on your page is always viewable by everyone. You can change the privacy settings of prior cover photos, though.  

Click the cover photo itself. Hover to the middle right until the white arrow thing appears. This allows you to scroll thru all the previous cover photos you've had. For each one, you'll have to click on the globe icon, and choose Public, Friends, or More Options from the drop down box.  


Your profile photo is the small thumbnail photo in the lower left on your page. This is the small pic that identifies your profile at all times on Facebook® and any games or apps you sign into using FB. All profile photos you've ever had are always viewable by everyone, always. You cannot move them into a different album to hide them from public view. If you want to remove them from being a "profile photo" you have to delete them. (This is what I think is a poor concept - it would be easier to move them into a separate album)

A note to parents: I suggest having kids only use "generic" non-identifying photos such as animals, quotes, a beach scene, or sports teams logos as cover photos and profile pics.

Mobile upload photos or albums are able to be secured from public view. Photos that are only posted to your timeline (and not used as a cover photo or profile picture) are not viewable by the public, as long as you have your privacy settings set to Friends only (see Step 2 above).


6.  Go back to step 1 and View As Public again and double check that everything is the way you want it.  



If you have anything to add to this post, please, please, please comment and let me know. I would love to add to this list to make it even more complete.