facebook security check

Facebook has been dominating the headlines this past week after privacy and security concerns set off alarm bells across the globe. Although you may have been using Facebook for a long time and “never post anything interesting,” you would be surprised at the way this social media giant is able to profile your personality and preferences. More than likely, you have little or no idea of what your online presence says about you. Here are 5 things you should do right now to give your Facebook profile a checkup:

1. Click the down arrow at the top right corner and select Settings. Click on Security and Login. Familiarize yourself with the contents of this page. It will display your recent login locations and let you change extra security settings.

2. Click on Privacy. The settings on this screen control who has access to your profile, posts and likes. Make sure that your visibility to other Facebook users is how you want it. Remember that any category that is set to ‘Public’ can be viewed and shared by anyone on the internet. Do the same review on the Timeline and Tagging section.

3. Now for the scarier parts of Facebook. Click on Apps and Websites. Note all of the apps that you have given permission to view your profile information. If you do not use a particular app any longer, check the box next to it and click Remove. For all other apps, click View and Edit to customize your settings.

4. For an even scarier part of the settings, click on Ads. Facebook’s programming uses a combination of these sections to paint a picture of your personality. The sections called “Your Interests” (note that there are multiple tabs in this section) and “Advertisers You’ve Interacted With” probably make sense, but you can remove any of these. Under “Your Information” you can choose to allow advertisers to know much more about you. If you want to block them from knowing your employer or interests, turn that section off. Finally, under Ad Settings, you can control whether you want Facebook to tailor ads based upon your web browsing habits (yes, web browsing, not just Facebook).

Have you checked your Facebook security settings recently?

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