Understanding Facebook’s New Privacy Policy

Back when Facebook was first started it was for college students.  The “networks” feature allowed people to easily browse for and share content with people at their school and in their area.  Now that Facebook is as popular as it is and there are millions of people in the various networks, Facebook has decided to get rid of the “networks” to help protect the privacy of it’s users. Instead they have opted for more and better privacy options.  Sometime soon when you log into facebook you should see an image like this…


When you see this message, I recommend taking care of it right away, since Facebook thinks that people are more open with their information than I think they want to be.  Once you continue to the next step you will see the new privacy options.

privface2Click on the image to vew it larger.  If you aren’t paying attention and go with the defaults that Facebook has selected for you, I don’t think you will like the results!  It defaults to letting EVERYONE (that means people who aren’t your friends and just happen upon your profile) see your About Me, Family and Relationships, Work and Education, and Posts I Create.  The one in here that concerns me the most is that everyone in the whole world can see any links, photos, videos etc that you post to your Facebook page.   I definitely recommend setting these to the “old setting” which means only people you hve accepted as your friends can view these items.  The next section is your birthday, and photos and videos of you.  The photos section means that when other people tag you in a photo friends of your friends can see these.  Again here I went with “old setting” which is only friends of mie can see it.  The last section is your VERY personal information.  I went with the default setting stating that only friends of mine can see that info.  Basically the only thing I left open to the public was my “about me”.  Everything else you have to be my friend to see.  I post a lot about my friends and family on Facebook.  I have my cell phone listed on Facebook…. I really only want people I actually know to be able to view it.

So there you have it, Facebook’s new and improved privacy policy.  I’m a big fan of it, and think it will help protect the information we want to keep private on Facebook.

And just for fun… 30 Rock this week had a spoof on Facebook that was HILLARIOUS!  Check out a clip from the episode…

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com


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  • Sarah,
    So true! The other key to facebook is friend lists. I have divided my Facebook “friends” into several lists, depending on what information I would feel comfortable showing different groups of people (family, family+friends, professional, etc). Whenever I post a status update, I click “custom” and then Show only to Friends, except (select friend lists). I work in social media, and I know how easy it is to make the information public. It’s a shame you have to work so hard to make the information you want to post to your social network more private than the default.

    Thanks for sharing your tips and screen shots. I found your blog by searching for a clear explanation of Facebook’s new privacy policies to show a client. Found it here – much appreciated! And, as an early adopter mommy of two myself, I’ll be visiting you again!
    .-= Debra Askanase´s last blog ..Try These Dynamic Digital Storytelling Platforms =-.

  • Thank you so much for explaining this because I honestly did not understand the FB privacy policy. I am still learning and trying to make the most of networking while protecting our privacy.

    PS- 30 Rock rocks! That show makes me giggle from the bottom of my toes!!

    Thanks so much for visiting today!!
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Delurking Day Today =-.