More recently, the move to feature private individuals in what Facebook calls 'Sponsored Stories' has been opposed by netizens. Many have threatened to delete their FB accounts if the company were to sell their personal information to advertisers. With the possibility of private information falling into public domain more easily, what can users do to stay connected without over-sharing personal details?
Create a List of Close Friends
While the social networking site gives you the opportunity to establish new connections and maintain old ones, chances are, not all your connections will appreciate the kind of information you share. A ‘Close Friends’ list will help you limit your audience to individuals you deem important or likely to receive your posts well.
Creating this list will not, however, send out a notification to friends that they have been added. The list itself is accessible only to you. To select close friends, visit their profile, click the ‘Friends’ button to show a dropdown menu, and click ‘Close Friends.’ You can tell if a person is a close friend with the appearance of a star icon. When you share posts, make sure to click the ‘Close Friends’ option in the control panel.
Visit Your Own Profile Using the ‘View As’ Option
To check what items are accessible to certain people, go to your profile and click the arrow appearing in your cover photo. Click the arrow and select 'View As' from the dropdown list. Once the page reloads, the profile you will see is the one available to the public. Type the name of a friend in the black bar that appears above the cover photo; once the page reloads a second time, the profile will be the one your friend sees when visiting your page. The 'View As' option lets you know which information in your timeline is available to particular members of your network.
'Like' Only Public Posts Worthy of Attention
Many people may not realise that activities involving a public post will appear in their friends' news feed. If, for instance, you 'liked' a post from a fan page or left a comment in a thread set to 'public,' your activity will show up as news. Make sure to interact with people and on pages that you would not mind letting your other friends find out about.
Review Tags Before They Appear in Your Timeline
Often, one of the more traumatic aspects of using Facebook is being tagged in a horrendous photo. While the owner or uploader of the image ultimately controls who sees it, you can choose to leave it out of your timeline. The downside is that you have no control over its appearance in the news feed or in other friends' accounts. To review which posts and images show up in your own timeline, customise the 'Timeline and Tagging' options under 'Privacy Settings.'
Subscribe (Quietly) to Fan Pages
To avoid sending out notifications to friends about the pages you've liked or people you've started to follow, create a private subscriptions list instead. 'Interests' lists give you updates from pages and people all in one offering. Making your own selection does not require you to 'like' individual pages.
When viewing your Facebook 'Home' page, go over the 'Interests' section to the left of the news feed. Click 'More' then the 'Add Interests' and 'Create List' buttons successively. A box will appear, asking you which people and pages to include in your selection. Use the searchbox to build up your choices. Once you’ve selected your 'interests,' type in a name for your list and set it to private. This gives a personalised access to a variety of posts.
As Facebook users continue to weigh the value of sharing information on the social media site, you can take measures now to avoid over-sharing your own personal details and interests.
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