Guest Post: How to Play it Safe on Facebook

Amy's request to guest post here on Amber's Mouthwash came at a very timely moment for me: I had literally just reported my "Sea Stalker" to Facebook. Her e-mail came within the hour. Apparently fate works wonders online too. Readers, I truly do value you; I cannot stress how important it is to remain safe and protected online (day to day life as well, of course). In her guest post, Amy of Adult Dating Sites gives some very helpful pointers of remaining safe online.
How to Play it Safe on Facebook
In today’s 2011, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of a little thing called Facebook.  With access from home, work, and even on the go you have the ability to see what your best friend is having for lunch, find out what your long lost 6th grade boyfriend is up to, share pictures from your fabulous weekend in New York and even check-in at your favorite wine bar.  
So we all know that Facebook offers a plethora of fun tools that enable you to chronicle your life, share with friends, expose your opinions and connect with new people…but with over 800 million users world-wide and more than 50% of those users logging on several times a day, it comes as zero surprise that you have the possibility of encountering someone through the most visited website on the internet (after Google) who doesn’t have the best of intentions.  

To maintain your status as the most Facebook-savvy social networking butterfly in your group of friends, follow these few tips that will ensure a fun sharing experience while at the same time protecting yourself from the dangers lurking behind every friend request or poke:  
Restrict access to your profile.  Facebook offers privacy settings and security features that are in place to protect you.  It is a good idea to take the time to learn how to use these settings to control what information of yours is shared with people, applications and other websites.  Although it is suggested to use the highest level of security by setting the controls so that only your friends can view your info, review these settings and choose the ones right for you.
Keep your password safe.  There are cases of Facebook accounts being hacked into and used to gain personal information of yours or to send hurtful information to others.  To avoid situations like these, it is important to guard the password to your account.  Use a password that can’t be easily guessed, don’t share it with anyone and make sure that it is different from your other online logins. 

Who are your friends?  With the obscene number of people signed up to Facebook, it is likely that you have received friend requests from randoms you don’t know.  It may be tempting to accept for the thrill of connecting with someone new, but if you don’t know this person, it’s in your best interest to just ignore the request and stick to interacting only with people you know.
Be careful of what you post.  It can be a lot of fun to share your adventures with friends by posting what’s been going on in your life—but think before you post.  If you check-in somewhere, create a status stating where you plan to meet your friends, or post a mobile upload to your Facebook profile of you out on the town, this will alert predators of your whereabouts which can make you vulnerable to physical attacks or burglary.  
Also, it is important to note that you should avoid posting any pics of yourself that could put your morals or values in question.  Many Facebook users have had their jobs or academic careers compromised because of pictures showing them partying or engaging in behavior that doesn’t reflect a positive light upon an organization to which they belong.  


Use your common sense. Carefully review your Facebook page and try to see it through the eyes of someone with malicious intentions.  If there is anything you have posted on your profile that could pose risks if the wrong person were to get their hands on it, remove the content immediately.
Remember to listen to your instincts and if your gut is telling you there is something wrong, it’s likely that there is—trust that feeling and get out of a potentially dangerous situation.  If anyone is violating the terms of Facebook or making you uncomfortable, the site makes it easy to un-friend, block, and report any online abuse so that the site can take appropriate action against the problem-causing user.

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Thank you Amy!
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5 comments

Jennifer Fabulous said...

These are great tips! I've been on fb for almost six years now and so have most of my friends. I'm still constantly amazed at how little common sense they have on fb, when it comes to privacy!

Just the other day, a friend of mine discovered her cell had been on public display the entire time and she had not known! Ummm wtf.

SassyUptownChic said...

Wonderful advice. I've cut my "friend" list down to the bare minimum. So it's family and close friends. That's it. I've checked all of my privacy settings too. Wishing you a great day! ((HUG))
http://sassyuptownchic.blogspot.com/

Tights Lover said...

Great tips. It shocks me some of the facebook-related disasters I hear about.

I think the last tip sums things up perfectly, though.

J. said...

Wow, sorry about your "creeper!" Facebook is fun but I learned the hard way as well...I usually look at the requestee's page even if I know them before I friend them. I did just that and decided that I wasn't going to friend an old accquantance due to what appeared to be some anger issues but didn't remove the request. So a few days later when my nephew requested me I used my phone to confirm and hit it twice which then friended the person I was trying to ignore. Next thing I knew, within about 12 hours he's sent me 4 facebook messages, 2 emails and tried calling me on my phone, leaving exasperated and angry messages about not responding to his initial message. I let him know that I had not checked my messages, and had gone to work at 5 am the next day and missed his calls while I was working. I then unfriended him but it was too late, he'd already saved my number in his phone, which I had to change. He then tried to friend my 3 sisters but thankfully I had been able to let them know what was going on before that. My advice to anyone is really really really be sure what kind of personal info is available to any of these contacts...when facebook sends emails about their privacy updates, don't delete or ignore them, READ THEM!

Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

These are definitely great oh so useful tips. I'm with you doll I don't like sharing too much personal information on FB. In fact the only reason why I created a FB account was because of my blog followers and I refuse to add twitter to this mess. Thank you so much for writing this amazing post and hoping and praying for your horrific ordeal to end very very soon.


<3 Marina
Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle

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