July 23, 2009

Facebook: Keep your privacy to yourself and people you choose!

I always used to wonder who will see what I do on Facebook. It was not under my control, untill recently. Very recently I realized there are highly structured privacy settings in place on Facebook.

Now, on Facebook Privacy Settings you are given control over your Profile, Search, News Feed and Wall and Applications. You can control who sees your profile. You can control who searches for you and what they see when they find you and how they can contact you. You can also control what activity of yours is visible on your profile as well as your friend's home page. And you can also control what information is available to applications you use on face book. Facebook also permits you to block a particular user and enables you to see how another user views your profile.Of all the privacy settings available, I liked controlling applications and 'view as' options.

Applications are aplenty on Facebook and every time you use one, it asks for access to profile. My spamphobea doesn't permit me to give applications access to all the information I have on Facebook. And it is very difficult to decide which application you can trust and which you can't. I don't understand why some silly applications that lets you answer a quiz and gives you some godforsaken shit about yourself need to have acces to your profile information even after you are done with what they offered. I agree, some of them are fun while you are doing it. But why should they have access to my profile after I am done with it? I recently realized that the more applications I use on facebook, the more spams I receive on my mail. So this new privacy option on Facebook is a blessing.
Facebook also allows me to see for myself how my friends or acquaintances view my profile and wall. This helps me decide how I control the person's access to my page. Some of them who are linked to my Facebook Profile are just business acquaintances and I don't want them to see all that it takes to be me. There is an option on Facebook where I can customize who sees my profile and how. All that I got to do is to  to click on customization and select the people whom I will not permit to see certain information. 

I hope people will start using these Privacy  Settings and avoid a lot of confusions and abuses that can happen to you on-line. Some of us are just not bothered about what kind of information we leave on-line. You may not have a bank account you need to protect or you may rarely use your mail to communicate officially if you are in India. You may not do on-line purchases at all. But still, it is better to be careful about what information you leave around. Simply because, the way things are going, soon you will have to do a lot of things on-line which you otherwise wouldn't have done. 

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