Controlling your Facebook privacy

May 30, 2014 1:15 AM
Facebook's Custom Privacy settings update

Facebook’s Custom Privacy settings update

Privacy. Everyone’s worst online fear.

It is a frightening aspect of the social networking world. How private is your online profile?

Privacy is a significant part of the online sphere. Everyone should and must be updated with their privacy settings online. Recently, social network conglomerate Facebook have altered a crucial setting to secure your updates so they aren’t shared with the wrong people. The default option only allows users to share their personal details with friends and not the general public. Facebook offers various other methods and tools to privatize your profile. However, it is up to the user to activate those settings in order to prevent a breach of privacy. Facebook announced in a post, “We want to do all we can to put power and control in people’s hands. This new tool is designed to help people make sure they are sharing with just the audience they want”.

The alteration follows one of the major complaints privacy advocates have faced with Facebook. They have always stood by their privacy controls claiming it to be ‘robust’. However, critics have argued that the settings are difficult to understand for some users. Some would say, that inexperienced users may not be aware that there are publicizing their thoughts publicly by default. American Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia claimed: “Facebook’s new privacy policy is a laudable change…It should be up to the user to decide how much information they want to share with the public. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction for strengthening online privacy protections, and I urge other online companies to follow suit”.

Facebook's default privacy selection

Facebook’s default privacy selection

Facebook’s new Privacy Checkup feature for current users is displayed as a cuddly dinosaur mascot which is being carried out now. This is one of several modifications of privacy settings that Facebook has made in the last few months as it aims to make users more comfortable about sharing their personal information on their site. For first-time users, they will be asked what they want their audience to be when they make their initial post. However, if the user doesn’t respond to the request, it defaults to friends only. Facebook’s changes have produced the ability for users to log in ‘anonymously’, stopping other websites from gathering their personal information.

Facebook have been receiving complaints over its’ users’ privacy. However, the social networking site does provide tools to enable users to manage their own privacy. But it is up to the user to explore these settings and set their own privacy standards. Facebook offers endless settings. Click on the See More Settings link at the bottom of the Privacy Shortcuts window in order to be exposed to more offers. It is highly encouraged that first time users have a thorough tour of the Facebook privacy settings to ensure that they are comfortable with the services being provided by the site. It is Facebook’s aim to gain the trust of the user to be able to share their personal details online at ease. For existing users too, it is advisable to double check the privacy settings to your standard of privacy.