Journal Logo

Departments: News, Notes and Tips

How Private Is Your Facebook?

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0b013e3182160fb5
  • Free

Although we constantly tell out students about the risks related to social networking, many of us may not adequately protect our own privacy. Brian Croxall, Emory University, provides seminars explaining Facebook privacy. His advice was recently published in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Considering whether you use Facebook for personal or professional contacts, Croxall provides 6 steps for locking down Facebook privacy settings. First, look in the upper right corner of your Facebook homepage under Account. Click on "Connecting on Facebook," and choose "Preferred settings." Consider who can locate your account while they search Facebook, who can send "friend" requests to you, and if you really want your "Friends" to see your "Friends" list. Be sure to "Preview" all setting changes.

Then, examine the settings under "Sharing." Choose "Customize settings" to establish the highest level of control. Attend to each option, and choose the details about yourself that you would like others to see. "Buried" in this section is "Edit album privacy." This section sets permissions regarding who can view your photo albums. Preview your settings, when you are finished. Also buried in this section is "Check you into places." This setting allows you to enable or disable the ability of your friends to check you into "Places" on Facebook. Left unchecked, this setting could lead to your appearance in "Places" you would never choose for yourself. Croxall gives the example of "Monster Truck Rally."

Once finished with steps above, choose "Apps and Websites" on the "Main Privacy Settings" menu. Choose which apps can access your Facebook account, decide who can view your gaming or app activities, control your instant personalization, and decide if you want your Facebook profile to show up in search results such as "Google." To establish the final privacy setting, go to "Account Settings" in the upper right corner or the "Accounts" menu. In the "Facebook ads" area, Croxall suggests you choose "no one." Croxall's tips will help you become more acquainted with issues related to Facebook and assist you with your own privacy, as well as help you guide students through this important process.

Source: Croxall B. Six steps for checking your Facebook privacy. The Chronicle of Higher Education. ProHacker. February 7, 2011. Available at Accessed February 15, 2011.

Submitted by: Robin E. Pattillo, PhD, RN, CNL, News Editor at[email protected].

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.