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Facebook Settings Check Up

Aloha Friends, here with a reminder to be sure and check your facebook settings regularly, at least once a year. Maybe while you're in the waiting room for your annual check up? This is quick and easy to do, and facebook will walk you through it. We're just here incase you have questions about the process, to answer your most common ones we've put together these screen shots of our personal recommendations for settings. You are of course more then welcome to set them however you feel most comfortable and can put all of them to "only me" (private) if you so choose, but we recommend against having your profile any more public than the advice below suggests.


First question; How do I do a Facebook Privacy Settings Check Up?

Its easy, go to the menu of your facebook app. From there, go to Settings & Privacy and hit the "V" to open more options. Click the "privacy shortcuts" option, then the first option is "take a privacy checkup".


Screen shots to find it on the app:

Screenshots to find it on the website:




What settings should I have for "Who can see what you share"?

The first block of the privacy checkup is who can see what you share, and has settings for your profile info. We recommend ensuring that the items below are set properly. Email should always be "only me" so that they cannot be used to set up fraudulent accounts, but other things, such as your friends should be visible to "friends only" so that many of facebook's features function properly, other non-critical information can be set to public to help other users who want to be in contact find you, such as old friends and classmates








The "limit" button is great if previously you had "public" as your default, it will retroactively change all posts to your preferences.


What settings should I have for " "How to keep your account secure"?

For this one, make sure your password is healthy and changed recently. Next, ensure that two-factor authentication is on, this will likely require you to have your cell phone handy. Make sure your security method is up to date and connected to either a phone number that is current and recives text and/or an email address that you can log into easily. Lastly, make sure your alerts are turned on.



What settings should I have for "How people can find you on facebook"?


Unless you have issues with getting lots of requests from fake accounts or an annoying number of requests from people you do not know, it is fine to leave the friend requests setting to "Everyone", changing this makes it hard for the people that do know you to connect. Changing it means that you have to do the sending of the request every time you want to add a friend, and many who do know you will give up quickly and likely do not have alternative up to date way to contact you. For phone number and email look up, we recommend against this, over time our numbers and emails become more public and contact books get full, best to leave it at "only me". Make sure search engines are off, or you are likely to be found by people looking to scam you versus actual friends. Unless you are a public figure who wants to be easily found and followed, make sure this feature is off.



What settings should I have for "Your data settings on Facebook" ?

Facebook allows you to "log in with facebook" on a multitude of sites. Some of these integrate with facebook, such as Pinterest allows you to see and share with your facebook friends. Make sure the apps and websites in this section you approved, and are still actively using. If you are not, remove them. If you'd like to change to another way of logging in, we recommend doing that on the site referred to first before removing access in this section. Usually this can be accomplished by logging into the other site, such as Pinterest, and going to your user settings. This is not necessary if you are using the log in with facebook feature, only use if the site was compromised, you'd like to keep your social media data siloed site to site, or you have stoped using the other website. This is also highly recommended if you intend to discontinue Facebook usage and/or delete your facebook account.

Regarding location, ensure that it is set to either while using or never. If it still says always, please install an updated version of the facebook app. While using is generally sufficient, it does not share your exact location, but about a 4-6 block radius, which is useful for ad targeting, searching for local businesses, searching or posting to facebook marketplace, seeing local news posts, and finding friends who live nearby.



What settings should I have for "your ad preferences on Facebook"?

When it comes to the ad settings, this really is a matter of personal preferences. No matter what you choose, you will still be served ads, there is no way to opt out. The question is then, would you rather get ads your actually interested in at the cost of some information which is fully anonymous to the businesses buying the ads, or would you rather stay completely private and see ads that are irrelevant? I personally would rather see ads that are actually interesting to me, but I also admit the wave of baby-product ads 2 years after being married to be a bit much. Your also welcome to return to these settings anytime and change your mind.

As for "social interactions" I recommend keeping them at "only me" because I don't want to seem to be recommending something that I perhaps liked because I wanted to see their updates. I also might not want to broadcast a brief love of loungfly backpacks to the world, especially since the fascination died off once I acquired one. However had I had it public, any of my friends that got an ad for one of the backpacks would see that I liked them as well.




Other settings

Once you're done with your official "privacy checkup" you can go explore the other settings that you can change on facebook.




What should I check for under "Account" ?

Under account, there are a few things worth looking at. Firstly, click on "personal information". Under that heading see "upload contacts" and make sure that is off. They have no business uploading your entire contacts list, keep it that way. Next, I recommend backing back out to "account" and clicking "Access and control". Under this settings menu there is an option called "Memorialization settings". Its a bit macabre to ponder, but its worth choosing a friend or relative to take over your facebook profile in the event of your demise. Not doing this means they have to prove to facebook that you are gone by sending in your death certificate and prove they have the right to access it. Grieving families really have better things to be doing. And less then tech fluent friends may find the process overwhelming. This means that people who may know you but didn't friend you will keep getting "you may know this person" alerts and your firends keep getting birthday reminders long after you're gone. So please, pick someone, perhaps not your immediate family who are too overwhelmed, but somoene well versed in social media who can change it to a memorial profile for you when that time comes.





What should I check for under "security" ?

Under the security heading, check "security and log in". Make sure that the devices your logged in on are yours and current, remove any that are old or not recognized. Once you do this, keep scrolling down to "get alerts about unrecognized logins" and ensure notifications and emails are both set to "on". This will ensure that you can catch any fraudualant activity immediately and secure your account. If you get an alert, which generally are along the lines of "your account was accessed from a new place {lists new device, how, and what city it took place}" you will be given the option to just ignore if it was you, or to take action and change your password if it was not you.

Also, if you do believe your account was breached, this is the place to alert facebook, see the last option "if you think your account was hacked", which facebook provides information on how to proceed based on what occurred.

Once you've completed those things you can go back to the "security" section, there is another sub heading called "off-facebook activity". Make sure there is no recent activity, if there is, hit "clear history" at the bottom, and "disconnect future history". If you wish to know more, feel free to explore the "what is off-facebook activity?" button, but this blog post is meant to be an overview.




What settings should I check under "Permissions"?

This is not critical, as much as good practices. If you find yourself with your phone and time to kill, head to "permissions" section of "settings" and hit "apps and websites". Here you will find a list of websites that you've accessed via facebook. Some are just using it as a way to log in. Make sure the apps and websites in this section you approved, and are still actively using. If you are not, remove them. If you'd like to change to another way of logging in, we recommend doing that on the site referred to first before removing access in this section. Usually this can be accomplished by logging into the other site, such as Pinterest, and going to your user settings. This is not necessary if you are using the log in with facebook feature, only use if the site was compromised, you'd like to keep your social media data siloed site to site, or you have stoped using the other website. This is also highly recommended if you intend to discontinue Facebook usage and/or delete your facebook account.

Previously on facebook, especially before 2016 and even more frequently 2008-2012, fun "quizzes" and "apps" used your facebook info in a predatory way, offering things such as a cool map of your friends in exchange for your data which was then sold. Most are now defunct. But regardless, its a good idea to clean these out. Especially the very old ones. For defunct apps, websites, etc and things you no longer recognize I would recommend deleting without notifying them. This is a slow and arduous process, and not security critical, but rather then one more level of that mobile game while you wait for your elevator, go delete a few more. For us 90's kids who used social media before we had good sense about internet security, it could be a very long list to pick through.




Mahalo for sticking with us through all these Facebook settings! We understand that this social media behemoth gets more confusing as time passes. But the good news is, as regulations about how your data is used and protected around the world go into law and effect, social media gets safer to use all the time. Which is why it is important to do this checkup and see what's changed, they may have been forced to fess up about something they'd been doing and you now have the right to tell them to knock it off in the settings.


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