Facebook is on a roll of releasing new features. Most users will see the most changes when Facebook rolls out the new Timeline to all users on September 30, but even users who haven’t upgraded to Timeline should be concerned with other changes that have impacted their privacy. If you’re concerned about how much information you are sharing — and with whom — here are five Facebook privacy settings you should change right now.
Facebook has streamlined Privacy settings, making it easier to decide with whom to share information. One of these settings is the default privacy setting for all Facebook posts that don’t originate on Facebook.com — such as posts shared via mobile. While you may choose to share updates with specific people on the Facebook Web site, you need to adjust this setting if you don’t want all of your Facebook mobile activity — such as via the Facebook app on the iPhone or Android — public. This setting is under the header of Control your default privacy in the Privacy settings.
Limit the Audience for Past Posts
If you haven’t upgraded to Timeline yet, you’re in for quite a surprise when you see the new format of your Facebook profile. All previous Facebook activity will be lain out for all to see. If you have ever set the visibility of past Facebook posts to anyone more than just friends, these posts will be visible on your Timeline — all the way back to when you started using Facebook. To limit the audience for posts to only your friends, change this setting in your Privacy settings.
Remove and Restrict Access by Apps
The new Facebook ticker is constantly sharing activity by you to your friends, and vice versa, based on your use of other apps connected to Facebook. Already, users are finding that the songs they listen to on Spotify and the news they read via the Wall Street Journal could be embarrassing, to say the least. To prevent apps from sharing too much information about your daily habits and activities, visit your Privacy settings on Facebook and edit the settings for Apps and Web sites. While apps may not be automatically sharing your activity via Facebook, we never know when one will start updating your friends about the potentially scathing Yelp reviews you have read or written.
For those of you who want even more control of your Facebook privacy, consider setting aside an hour to create lists to prevent different groups of people from seeing your updates. You can then choose specific people or lists to share or block updates from by using the inline indicator when you post. You can also change your settings for How you connect with others in your Privacy settings, which can allow you to limit who can contact you and post on your Wall/Timeline.