THE BLOG
03/22/2013 06:12 pm ET | Updated May 22, 2013

Social Privacy: What Does This Really Mean?

If Facebook has learned one thing from its social media reign, it's that users take the appearance of the platform very seriously. As a company this is great since it means users are loyal and inspired to stay connected with Facebook. The universal rollout of Timeline in 2012 created havoc in the social media community, as hoards of Facebookers took to Internet chat rooms and profiles to voice their opinions about the visual appeal of the format change, as well as the increased visibility of uploaded content on profiles. With the introduction of a redesigned News Feed and plans to update the Timeline appearance and implement Facebook Graph Search, users once again responded with their honest feedback. Some of the most common user concerns relate to unknown individuals viewing private content through friends' comments, as well as social reader and movie viewing app publications on the News Feed.

Fortunately, for the millions of Facebook users interested in controlling the privacy of profiles and posted content, the following tools and settings offer substantial influence over personal privacy:

  • Use the "mark as unread" button following social reader posts in order to remove details from streamed content
  • Limit "who can see" future posts to "friends only" under privacy settings and tools
  • Avoid using the "public" setting for shared content unless you inform friends of this practice
  • Only accept friend requests from known individuals and have conversations with these contacts about account settings to make sure content remains private
  • Explore the app settings (the "only me" status of app viewing reduces the visibility of apps)
  • Control who can view your contact information and accessibility through search engines through privacy settings and tools
  • Regulate "Ads & Friends" by selecting "no one" in order to limit social action with ad pairing
  • Enable post review before friends tag photos or other related content
  • Frequently review profiles and delete or hide undesirable content from the Timeline
  • For more information on Facebook privacy settings, visit http://www.facebook.com/help/privacy

At the end of the day, a great site will always be the result of a healthy balance of user feedback and company direction coupled with the ability to own your own privacy.