Who Are Your Friends?

Dear Reader,

I have been getting some questions lately about Facebook, and I want to address some of them. What I see, from many of the questions, is that many people don’t really know how the website is set up to work when it comes to protecting your information.

Most of the things that you share on Facebook give you a few options for who can view that information.

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Everyone: When you set your information to be visible to everyone, that is exactly who can view it. Everyone from your best friends, to any stranger who is searching on Google. You want some information to be available to everyone, this just makes it easier for people that you know to find and connect with you. There is nothing more frustrating than searching for someone I want to connect with, only to find a dozen people with the same name, and none of them have a picture (other than their pet or child) or even list what state they live in.

Friends of Friends: This setting might seem pretty safe at first, but you need to consider that not everyone knows all their friends on Facebook. I know people who just accept every friend request that they get in an effort to have the “most” friends, and I also know people who go over their friends list on a regular basis to be sure they know and want to be in touch with everyone on the list. Don’t assume that all your friends are that careful.

Friends Only: When you set your information to be visible to only your friends, you are selecting a pretty safe setting,

IF YOU KNOW AND TRUST ALL YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS.

I wanted that sentence to stand out. The whole purpose of Facebook is to be able to easily share our lives with our friends near and far. If you have people on your friends list that you wouldn’t invite to your house for dinner, you should consider why you have them on your friends list in the first place.

Elizabeth

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