Many groups are starting pledges to help users quit Facebook. The two most popular have about a 1,000-2,500 members. Even if these groups grow to 5,000 ‘strong‘ that wouldn’t even be .01% of the 400,000,000 current Facebook users.
Well, I don’t want to quit Facebook but I also want to control my privacy. Wait, you can’t do that! Yes, you can. This NY Times article graphic maps out the 50 different settings with over 170 options… it’s meant to overwhelm and complain about the privacy settings. It’s one of those situations where Facebook can’t win. With too few options we can’t control everything. With too many options we get to control (almost) everything but it’s too confusing. I like all the options.
What do I do? First off check out reclaimprivacy.org – they have a great app that once you login to Facebook it will tell you how your privacy settings are set. It let’s you know what you are or are not sharing. What’s the best privacy settings? It will vary by user. For me- I prefer it all to be private and for only my friends (my Facebook friends) to be able to partcipate in my Facebook life.
ReclaimPrivacy.org scans the following settings:
- Instant Personalization Feature: For me, this was the main privacy setting I wanted turned ON, meaning block it all. This feature can feed your information to other sites so that it can better match up your likes and dislikes. Sounds interesting now with three ‘trusted’ beta sites but what about when it’s opened up to developers? Just about any site will be able to pull your data- yes, hackers, id theft punks, scammers, spammers and the such.
- Personal Information: This one is up to you. I don’t mind my friends having my information. My Friends. Not the rest of the internet. This section will let you adjust how your personal information is shared.
- Contact Information: Just like above. it’s up to you who you want to see your contact information. Mine, again, is set to Friends Only.
- Friends, Tags and Connections: I respect my friends so I don’t let others outside of my network see my friends even when I tag them or how I’m connected to them. Again, it’s up to you… to a point. See the next option.
- Friends Sharing: This lets you decide what your friends can share about you on their Facebook pages. Sometimes they may ‘accidentally’ share your information… at least you get to pull back on those strings.
- Applications: Many applications pull and share your data as well. This will let you know what applications are allowed to share and not share. I do not let any applications pull or share my data. Applications aren’t my true friends. :)
There is no need to quit Facebook. We all just have to stay informed and know our options. This won’t be the last time Facebook changes their privacy policies. Go ahead and give reclaimprivacy.org a try and I’ll see you on Facebook… maybe, if you aren’t blocking me.