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The 10 Commandments for a risk-free Facebook

  • Serial Ululer
  • Pioneer
  • Writer

1) Choose your photos wisely
No half-naked photos, nor sequences of you looking smashed on nights out. They will only come back to haunt you, circulating the internet for all the wrong people to see. Your reputation is at stake! Choose more appropriate, sophisticated photos. And if you discover one of your so-called 'friends' has uploaded an embarrassing snaps of you, don’t panic. The “de-tag” option under the photo will get rid of your name. But not your face, and it might be too late…Another tip: organise your photos in a private album which only certain groups of friends will be able to see.

2) Manage your friends
All Facebookers have made the mistake of accepting an old college friend who ruins your life by recounting incredibly embarrassing stories and moments in your previous life.
Don’t let this happen, by choosing who to accept as friends, and choosing what they can and can’t see on your profile.
How? You can choose which groups of Facebook friends access certain parts of your life, like your CV, address or date of birth. Click on “Account”, then “Privacy settings”, then “Customize settings”, and a choice of options will appear.

3) Your visibility on Google
Type your name into Google and your Facebook page will appear. Deactivate this immediately.
How? Go into “Account”, then deactivate “Public search”. You will no longer appear on any search engines. To manage your e-reputation, create a Google alert to your name. It’s simple, all you have to do is click on “News” and choose “Create an alert”.

4) Don’t let Facebook take over your inbox
Your inbox can quickly overflow with hundreds of comments on photos, videos and other events. You can limit this.
How? Go into "Account settings", then "Notifications". Several options will let you manage the influx of emails.

5) Keep an eye on Facebook’s modifications
It’s up to you to take control of Facebook and notice its advancements. There’s no complete confidentiality on the network. You’ve just got to regularly check the security settings by going into “Account”.

6) Watch out for "Places"
It’s Facebook’s geolocation application. Your every move is followed…
How do you get rid of it? Delete the application by going on “Account”, then “Privacy settings”, then “Customize settings”. There, you will see “Places I check in to". Choose the option "Only me". Also deactivate “Include me in ‘People Here Now’ after I check in”. Finally, we advise you to deactivate “Friends can check me in to Places”.

7) Avoid games, quizzes and surveys
I agree, the myFarm game is alright. But as for the quizzes and surveys, there’s a big risk that your personal data will be stored by third parties.
Given that sites use your name for adverts. You can stop this by going into the applications' settings. There, you can block them one by one.

8) How to get around third party sites
These are often participating sites which, to make your registration easier, allow you to register through your Facebook account. The risks : you give them all your personal informattion and you can’t use of pseudonym anymore. Always register directly on these sites.

9) Think carefully about your password
Never choose your date of birth, nor the name of your dog. Even more stupid would be your surname, known by everyone. Look for a combination between letters and numbers. As for the famous secret question sometimes asked when you connect, never respond to it in the first degree. Think of something better than Robert, your father’s first name.

10) Make sure you’re not on Facebook’s billboards
There’s no way we’d want to support the adverts or submit to their promotional inserts targeted at our personality.      
You can evade them in the account settings where you click on “Facebook Ads”.

10 bis.) Don’t be scared to deactivate your account
If you’ve really had enough, leaving the network is the only solution. But it’s easier said than done…
Here is the way to leave.  Go into “Account”, then “Account settings”, and then “Deactivate your account”. But Facebook won’t leave it there; it claims you will soon miss your friends, and you are forced to argue your way out. At the very end, you are asked for your password, then to enter a code which appears on the screen. Aghr, it’s done!

4 replies

  • Pioneer

Did he mistake the pissoir for a horizontal drinking fountain?

  • Pioneer

thanks this is really useful. Now i feel much safer when on facebook x

  • Pioneer
  • Writer

This is great, there's definitely a lot I need to improve on my page...but it's impossible to de-tag all embarrassing photos straightaway, you would have to be constantly online! I found another set of tips which Facebook newbies might find useful: How to use Facebook: 5 Tips for better Social Networking :)

  • Serial Ululer
  • Pioneer
  • Writer

Haha it looks that way John ;)

Thanks Johnny, yes for absolute beginners here's a great video series on how to set up your Facebook page and begin to use it. There are a couple of interesting tips for old-timers too, for example how to make a slideshow on Facebook.


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