Facebook 111: Customized Facebook Privacy Settings

In Facebook 110 I provided a basic intro to Facebook privacy settings, and how by selecting one of the pre-configured settings you can substantially control access to your personal information on Facebook.

And it only takes a minute or so.

This course will help you take the next step.

Shaun Dakin, a commenter on the previous post, shared a helpful post by Nilay Patel on using lists to manage your Facebook privacy. Check it out on Engadget.

Here’s my introduction to lists as a tool for managing access to your Facebook data. As I did last time, I have posted text to accompany and explain each slide.

Slide 2: To most effectively manage access to your Facebook information, you need to create lists of your various types of friends. To create those lists, you start by going to the Edit Friends link on you Facebook profile, and then clicking the Create List button.

Slide 3: Create your various lists to segregate friends you want to group together for privacy purposes and for group communication. Privacy controls are just one use for lists; you also can use friend lists to address messages in Facebook.

Slide 4: When you go back to your privacy settings and click the Customize settings link you will see that there are three basic groupings of information you can control. The first of these is things you share. You will note that there are several types of data in this category, and that you can have different privacy settings for each of them. The adjustment process is the same for all of them (and for the other categories as well) so I will show how to do that after introducing the various types.

Slide 5: The second category is Things others share. You don’t have control over what other people upload to Facebook, but by tweaking these settings you can limit who sees those materials. So, if you’re concerned that someone might upload a less-than-flattering or unprofessional photo of you, you can strictly limit who can see photos and videos you’re tagged in.

Slide 6: Contact Information is the third major category. For example, you probably would want to limit who can have access to your cell phone number, because if you’re like most people you wouldn’t want just anyone to call you on your mobile; you wouldn’t want them to consume your costly minutes.

Slide 7: This shows what you see when you click the button with the lock symbol next to each data type. You can limit access to your Friends, to Friends of Friends, or to Specific People.

Slide 8: This is an example of access management by exception. For this one, I have said all of my friends can see the items, with the exception of those on my Limited Profile, Professional and Blog Friends lists.

Slide 9: This is an example of managing access by limiting to specific people (those on my Family list and on my High School Friends list). In this category the only people who can see this information are those on one of those two lists.

Slide 10: When you click the Preview my Profile button, you again see how most people see your page. But you can also…

Slide 11: Put in the name of one of your friends, and see that page as he or she sees it. In this case, I put in my sister-in-law’s name, to see how her view differs from the basic view. By using this preview feature you can fine-tune your settings until you get them just as you want them.

Slide 12: Privacy settings are just one use for Friend Lists. In this slide I created a group called Facebook Addicts and included my wife, Lisa, and two of my daughters. When you are sending messages in Facebook, instead of listing the individuals, you can use a Friend list for distribution.

Slide 13: Check out other courses in the SMUG curriculum for more step-by-step training in applying social media.