Privacy and Private Matters – 5 Rules to Follow on Facebook

Last year I did an in depth look at Facebook’s privacy settings and detailed them all out. But since then, they have changed their privacy settings to try and make them more user friendly. I wrote another post last year on whether or not privacy matters and some think it’s the semblance of just wanting to be remotely in control of our personal data rather than actually controlling it.

As a business owner, consultant and philanthropist, I originally engaged with Facebook solely for work purposes. I needed a platform. However, since then, I’ve been to my high-school reunion, switched jobs three times, and have met a ton of new people both professionally and personally. Now, all of my worlds have collided. So how do I keep them straight?

    1. Follow some rules of thumb. There are some basic rules I follow when it comes to posting any content on Facebook. I ask myself, if I were getting interviewed by someone who impressed me, let’s go with Oprah or President Obama, would I be embarassed or mortified by anything that I previously posted on Facebook?
    2. Untag photos of yourself. Not sure why people try to tag you in photos from college or high school when you looked like a pimple ready to pop. So I get rid of these by untagging myself. Once you untag yourself, no one else can tag or re-tag you. (Only you can always re-tag yourself if you need to).
    3. Categorize your “friends”. Let’s face it, you went to that 20 year high school reunion and everyone wanted to get back in touch, albeit if only for a few months. But now they are “your friends” on Facebook and they see everything you post. Same goes for the old co-workers. But why not categorize your “friends” using the “List” feature. That way, your current co-workers don’t need to know that you got hammered last night, while you can brag about that to your homies.
    4. Utilize Private Messaging. Your friend just posted something and you have an opinion that might offend a few people. Why not just send your friend a private message instead? Or what about you post that you just booked the most fabulous vacation ever and your friends want to know when and where you are going – don’t reply back to the post – instead send them a private message. No sense letting everyone know when you are not going to be home.
    5. Facebook Mobile. Wanting to be connected while you’re traveling the world is great, but posting photos of your tropical paradise just says one thing: you’re out of town right now. How about just sending those via SMS or text message instead?

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.