New Facebook privacy settings: 3 things to do now

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1. Check out what’s coming.
On August 23, Facebook announced big changes are coming to the site’s privacy settings over the next week. We’ve identified the following changes. Even more changes are hinted at in the accompanying videos.

  •  For adults, “Friends”, “Public”, or “Customize” are now the three standard privacy settings for sharing. “Friends of Friends” is no longer an upfront option.
  • “Everyone” is now “Public”, which is the maximum audience for any adult post.
  •  For minors, “Friends of Friends” is still the maximum audience for a post.
  • Inline profile controls will now allow adults to choose share status updates with “Friends”, “Public”, or “Customize”.
  • You can now set the privacy levels of the elements on your profile through settings actually located on your profile.
  • You can change the privacy setting of a status update after it has been posted.
  • You can now choose to approve all posts or a photos you are tagged before they appear on your profile with Profile Review.
  •  It’s a little easier to check how others see your profile with a prominent button on your profile.
  • You can now tag anyone on Facebook. If a non-friend tags you, it will only appear on your profile if you approve it.
  •  You can tag a location on “anything” you post to Facebook.
  • Places is gone—Facebook is no longer in the Foursquare business.
  • You can now remove a tag of yourself on a photo, remove a tag and ask a friend to take it down or remove a tag and block the person who tagged you.

If you think that list is long, check out Facebook’s Dig Into the Details chart to get a sense of how much these changes will affect your Facebook experience . Yep. Much is changing.

Some say that these changes are a response to Google+. However Larry Magid, who works with Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board, says these changes have been in the works for months.

2. Make sure you are comfortable with your current settings.

This grid thing is going away.

It’s always a good time to check your Facebook privacy settings. The settings you have now will be converted into the new settings. You shouldn’t end up being shocked by what you’re sharing, unless you’re not aware of what you share now. Keep in mind that ‘Friends only’ will still exist in the new settings. Assuming you know your friends—which Facebook does, as stated in its recent Guide to Security (PDF)—“Friends Only” should be a safe route for most of what you share on Facebook.

 3. Be ready to opt-in into Profile Review
For  F-Secure Labs Security Advisor Sean Sullivan, the most promising new privacy feature is Profile Review. This feature allows you to approve of every photo or post that includes a tag of you before it appears on your profile. As you probably know, Facebook tends to opt you into any new feature, except if it prevents your from sharing. Hopefully as the changes go live, you’ll be asked to opt in to Profile Review.

If not, you’ll have to go to your Privacy Settings> Manage How Tags Work and click on “Change Settings”> Next to Profile Review click “Edit” > Click Turn On Profile Review. Note: This will not be available to you until all the changes have been completely rolled out to you.

We’re still investigating these changes and looking forward to bringing you more insight on the evolving Facebook privacy situation in the near future

Cheers,

Jason

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