Practice safe on-line networking: how to secure your Facebook account

Facebook has again made a change in privacy settings. Without much warning and more often none at all we are faced (no pun intended) with a dilemma. How do I secure my settings once and for all? Haven’t we all heard the saying “set it and forget it,” from Ron Popeil? I think we can all agree that privacy is paramount. More importantly with today’s ever changing environment we need to put a system in place that is not affected by what facebook does with today’s or tomorrow’s flavor of privacy. Some say get a life. I say set a list. With that in mind I think we can all agree on the following.

Today privacy has never been more relevant regarding personal facebook accounts and the people that peek. Today’s people are recruiters as recent studies show that 75% of them are required to query a potential applicants social standing online.  So what does that mean to you? Further analysis shows that 70% of potential applicants are being rejected due to online profiles. This sounds rather dire but the good news is that 85% of potential applicants are being hired. What is a profilee (sic) to do? Quite frankly, it seems the odds are better if you have one than if you don’t, so let’s look at how to project the best image without compromising engagement.

First things first let’s lock down facebook. What fun is it if you have to pretend that every potential viewer is either your Mom or your boss? No worries here boss, as you need to create lists to protect who sees what. Easy to do and fun to navigate. Can anyone here say restricted family, work related or students? These are lists I have within facebook. None of them see my friends, my posts, my pictures or my videos. They might as well not even be friends as they see no more than those that aren’t.  So why would I friend them? Voyeur that I am (and you are too) I am curious as to what they let me see. More than likely they have friended me and I have no reason to say no and hurt their feelings. It also allows me to connect broadly and send personal messages to the list. “Students, don’t forget to look your best for the graduation photos this week,” is an example of how I use the list for mutual benefit.  Lists are easy and lists are fun. Find them under accounts settings and then the subheading edit friends.

Tag you’re it and find me through search engines needs to go too. Easy to do and found under privacy settings. Facial recognition is tricky to find but one can navigate to it by asking our friend Google. Simply type, “How do I remove facial recognition in facebook?” in the search engine bar. Be careful of third party applications and change your passwords regularly. Please don’t use the same ones for work and banking that you use for social profiles. If I know where you work (because you told me in your profile settings and I didn’t need to friend you to see it) I might be able to hack your account. So be smart and get a policy regarding social media and how to protect yourself. This can apply at home as well as at work. I can help. To quote a bankruptcy attorney that appeared regularly on TV, “This is all I do and I do it well.” I am here to help you set policy that matches your culture. I teach employees and students how to do just that.


Pat Huston is the Director of Education at Geek Speak LLC. She can be found at

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