Stop Changing Your facebook Name: Use Lists to Dominate Privacy Settings

This post will focus on setting up your facebook profile so that it shows what you want to who you want and hides what you’d like to keep private. Many people know that you can control your facebook privacy settings but they don’t really know the best way to do it. For example, many of my friends have started changing their names on facebook when they are applying for jobs so that their profile isn’t shown in search engines. Today I will discuss how to easily create privacy settings that allow you to be yourself on your facebook page and not worry that a prospective employer, boss or family member will see something they shouldn’t.

The easiest way is to utilize the friend list feature in facebook. Select Edit Friends in the drop down menu from Account and then click the Create a List button. These lists are easy to get overwhelmed with so I suggest using 4 categories to separate your friends:

  • People you trust

    This is your inner circle of friends. They have met your parents and you feel comfortable sharing everything with them

  • Acquaintances

    Just a step outside the inner circle. I asked myself: “If I were throwing a party at my house, would I invite this person?” to help me decide

  • Limited

    Includes some family members, co-workers, professors, bosses or anyone I’ve established a professional reputation worth upholding

  • People I don’t know that well

    Includes old high school peers, college classmates and those people that I would pass by and say hi but wouldn’t stop to chat

I created lists for the first 3 categories and placed the appropriate people in them. If you fell into the last (and biggest) category you weren’t placed in any list. Now it was time to adjust my privacy settings appropriately. Below is a video on exactly how to customize your privacy settings once you have set up your lists.

Start – Privacy settings for what you share on facebook

3:24 – Control what applications have access to your information

4:00 – Control what is shown when someone searches for your name in a search engine. Great for when you’re applying for jobs and want to limit what a company has access to when they search your name. You don’t have to change your actual name on facebook to do this.

For a full outline on everything that you can control with the privacy settings, check out: Facebook Tips and Tricks: The Ultimate Guide. You can learn how to block people from chatting with you, how to set up a temporary password when you’re on an unsecure network and other advanced tricks.

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