Are Facebook’s Privacy Settings A Joke?

Facebook Safety and Security

Let me start by saying that if you are going to stay safe online, never enter or post any data in social media that you would not want discussed on national news.

Recently Facebook changed their privacy settings making it harder to limit your posts to specific people.  That got a lot of people angry but the reality is that any company can change their rules at any time and your only recourse of action is to stop using it.  When you consider the size and scope of Facebook it is easy to see how most will simply shrug their shoulders and move on – social media is addictive and most are not going to stop posting regardless of the privacy rules.  

So, are all privacy settings a joke? While the settings do provide some small protection one should never rely on them and assume they can and will change in a moment’s notice and there is nothing you can do about it.

Social Media Privacy Joke

The Internet Is Forever

The reality is that anything you post on social media is essentially not yours anymore.  This is why most recommend putting your content in a blog and posting the links on social media along with some sort of a call to action to entice the reader to click the link and engage in the post.

Every comment, every picture, every status update, they are all there for everyone to see and eagerly indexed by all the search engines such as Google and Bing.  Want to apply for a job? Be prepared for the company to look at everything you posted on social media sites.  Every Tweet, every Tumblr and Pinterest picture, every comment (even the ones you wrote in a fit of anger when someone posted something that was so wrong it required a response from you).  They will look at all of them and make a judgement about you.  You could be turned down and never know why.

Lets look at this from the perspective of a small or home based business.  Just like a company can see everything you do online so will your customers.  I still see good and well meaning people that think their personal profile can be kept separate from their business.  A word of advice: If you are very vocal about a particular political group or cause or religion understand that you are turning away potential customers.  Those that do not agree with you and even those that just do not like overly emotional or inflammatory posts will make a conscious choice not to do business with you.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.  If, for example, you run a Christian book store then posting bible verses from the New Testament would be fine as those finding it objectionable would most likely not  buy from you in the first place.  However, if you sell custom branded merchandise and you post strong support for a specific faction of a specific political party then be prepared to only get orders from those that agree with your political beliefs.  There are those that make a nice living targeting a specific market, however, if your reach is broader then you need to take a close look at what you are posting on your personal as well as your business pages.

Facebook Stalker

Some tips when posting on Facebook:

This also applies to Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, well, all of the social media sites out there.

  • Never post your real birthday: Always use a different day or year.  This goes for all the information banks ask you to confirm your identity.  If your bank asks for it to identify you then others can use it to steal your identity.
  • Avoid posting while on vacation – wait until you get home:  This one is huge as there are lots of stories of people on vacation posting their incredible pictures not realizing they are advertising to thieves that their home is unoccupied and ready for plunder.  Best to wait until you get home and then post all of your amazing vacation photos and videos.
  • Never post anything that you would not want the world to see:  This is one that is so important it needs to be repeated.  What you put online can and will come back to haunt you.  Best advice: if it feels good to write then it will most likely come back to bite you.  After all, remember how good you felt when you told that so-and-so online exactly juts how you felt about their post?  Yeah, don’t do that  anymore.
  • Visit Stay Safe Online at the Cyber Security Alliance to learn more:  Of course, there are lots of other pages with great advice as well.  We will often post important information on our Facebook page.  Stop by and give us a like to stay informed.


Facebook Privacy Joke

Do you have any advice we may have missed?

If so, please put them in the contents.  After all, the more we help each other the more we help ourselves.


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One Response to “Are Facebook’s Privacy Settings A Joke?”

  1. Max Cussons says:

    I’m wanting to reference this in an essay I’m doing. Can I get the name of who wrote it?

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