THE BLOG
03/04/2011 12:23 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

6 Simple Steps to Protect Your Facebook Privacy

With all the concerns about Facebook privacy these days, here are a few simple steps you can take to protect your privacy:

1. Don't provide information that you don't want to have shared with the universe. Simply put, anything you put online is easily transmitted and generally accessible. Be especially cautious about providing personal information that can be used by identity fraudsters. Beyond personal information, before posting videos and photos, ask yourself if you are comfortable with your entire family, current and future employers, friends and complete strangers viewing this material since, in all likelihood, there's a good chance that it will eventually become available for public viewing.
2. If you plan to use Facebook for gaming or for business purposes, create a separate account. This way your friends and family are not going to get mixed in with the thousands of strangers you only know through Farmville or from your e-commerce activities.
3. Don't become Facebook friends with total strangers -- the reason is obvious.
4. Adjust your privacy settings. Be aware that the default settings allow for more sharing than many people would like (remember Facebook is a business and wants to monetize your information). Because of constant updates to Facebook, you should check these settings at least once a month.
5. Be very suspicious of applications. They request access to your personal information and you don't know what they will do with that information. It's the equivalent of opening your house to a stranger and then announcing "I'll be back in a little while, do whatever you want."
6. Don't use the same passwords for your Facebook account as your other accounts (e-mail, bank).

With all of this said, remember that in this digital age most of our personal information is already readily available. At least by taking these steps you can protect your privacy a little, but when in doubt always revert to rule #1 - if you don't want the entire world to see something, then don't post it.