The popularity of Facebook cannot be questioned. Since its launch in 2004 it has grown to over 1 billion users (as of October 2012). Almost 50% of the US population has a Facebook account. It is because of this popularity of Facebook and our comfort with the service that can lead to trouble from time to time. Countless people have lost their jobs over something that they posted on Facebook. There is no doubt that marriages have collapsed as a result of Facebook postings and I wonder how many people did not get a job because of something on Facebook. Did you know that one of the first places employers go now when conducting backgrounds on applicants is Facebook?
All this being said there are several things you can do to protect yourself while engaging in the world of social media. Here are 3 recommendations.
1. Limit Who Can Find You
|Your security protection starts here.|
Make sure your Facebook profile stays private by clicking the blue gear in the top-right corner of the Facebook website and selecting Privacy Settings. From there, the best thing you can do is make it harder for strangers to find your Facebook profile in the first place by blocking search engines from linking to your profile and limiting who can look up your profile using the email address and phone number you gave to Facebook. That being said it’s probably a good idea to grant lookup access to Friends of Friends. That way, you can get some mileage out of Facebook’s social network by connecting with people your friends trust.
2. Stop Posting Public
Check your Facebook Privacy Settings. Make sure the ‘Who can see your future posts?’ option is set to Friends.
3. Secure Your Timeline
You can prevent the threat of embarrassing photos or video popping up in your Timeline without your knowledge by adjusting Facebook’s Timeline Review.
To do this go to the Timeline and Tagging Settings menu. Here you can review and adjust your Timeline Settings. Turn the option titled ‘Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline’ to On.
These three simple changes will help secure your Facebook privacy. If you take some time to explore the Facebook’s Account Settings menus you will find even more privacy settings. Take the time to read through the various setting options.
Facebook is now so popular that it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore its success. It can actually hurt you in a job search to NOT have a Facebook page. This is because some employers will actually think you are “hiding something about yourself” if you are not engaged socially. Therefore take the time to make sure your Facebook profile only presents you as your best (at least in public).