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Protecting your privacy on Facebook

January 20, 2012

I originally wrote this for a customer communication we were sending out, and I had to scrap it at the last minute. I figure it must still be useful somehow, so here it is!


For the first time, more than 50% of Australians now access Facebook at least once every month. Recent data reveals that more than 10.7 million Australians regularly access the social networking site, which is some 300,000 people more than the 6 months preceding it.

Facebook has come under immense criticism in recent months with much scrutiny focusing on the site’s ability to track users even after they had logged off from the site. One such problem was identified by an Australian and later rectified by Facebook. It’s safe to say though, that a lot of people are watching and trying to hold Facebook to account on privacy.

The thing is, sites like Facebook make money by targeting advertising to individual users based on their habits, preferences and the types of content they like to share – which means that where they are allowed to track certain data, they will try unless you take control. When was the last time you actually read all of the terms and conditions on a website you logged onto? We’re guessing that like us, you probably haven’t.

That’s why it’s always a good idea when using such sites to be aware of what permissions you have given Facebook and others to view your personal information.

There’s a couple of things you can do to protect your privacy on Facebook.

Click on your privacy settings and check the following:

1)   Make sure you’re happy with the ‘default level of privacy’ – you can customise what information gets shown to whom. A ‘public’ setting means exactly that – anyone can find you and view your profile on the site.



2)   Under ‘apps and websites’, you’ll find a list of applications you’ve subscribed to that have access to your data; make sure you remove any of these that you’re not comfortable with. It’s really easy to rack up a long list of these applications without even realizing how many companies now have access to your data – even when you’re not around. One member of Community Engine recently checked his applications and found more than 200 different applications accessing his personal information!

These are just a couple of the basics for managing your privacy on Facebook. Make sure that if you’re not aware of what your privacy settings are – that you take some time out to make sure you’re comfortable with them. That way, you’ll be well placed to protect your own privacy while still reaping the benefits of interacting with friends and family online!


  1. Amazing website! Its information is so appropriate and updated. Very informative in truth! Awesome work!

  2. Some times its a pain in the ass to read what website owners wrote but this website is real user genial ! .

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