Facebook brings distant people together. It helps us share our lives with people around the world. Unfortunately, if you open up your life on social media, privacy is a big concern. According to Huffington Post, only 3% of American adults trust Facebook with their personal data. The data available on Facebook is also used by criminals to gather more information about their targets. The crimes related to Facebook and Twitter have increased recently. Let’s dive in to check how these criminals operate and what we can do to revoke access to them.
How do criminals track you on Facebook
People spend a lot of time on Facebook. According to Social Media Today, people spend an average of 35 mins a day on Facebook. That’s a long time spent on just a single platform. What’s even more shocking is teens spend around 9 hours per day on social media. They could be going through their timeline and notifications which are harmless. They may also choose Facebook to document what they’re doing. Teens need to be careful of what is posted on their Facebook profile. It’s not just their buddies or the friends in their network who look at the updates. They’re being read by criminals too. Here’s how criminals can use Facebook updates to get more info.
Location and Check-ins
People tend to update where they are on Facebook. They check-in at their favorite pub and update the status on Facebook. Criminals are on the look out for this. They keep track of certain families in their neighborhood, document their activities and try to identify vulnerable moments to make their move. Updates on Facebook can give these criminals valuable information about your social activities, likes, and dislikes which they can use against you. Even the famed Pokemon Go was used by criminals to target innocent victims.
Facebook users love to share images of their loved ones on the platform. Your kid just tried her first cartwheel and of course, you want to record that. Why wouldn’t you share your kid dressed up as Darth Vader with the world? Apart from people in your network, do you know who’s also interested in your kid’s picture? Pedophiles. Be particularly careful when sharing your child’s picture on Facebook. Those innocent memories can be taken by pedophiles and circulated around the web in highly illegal ways.
Facebook can be a very powerful medium. It can give hope to people who believe they have none left. People sometimes pour their heart out on Facebook. An emotional heartbreak, parents getting separated, or the death of a loved one. These can be testing times for anyone. The Facebook community understands these situations and gives helpful advice. In some rare cases, a person may be grooming a young person when they’re most vulnerable. Parents or elders need to take charge and check their kid’s online activities.
How can you check your privacy settings on Facebook
Under Settings, select Privacy
As seen in the image above, you can select who can see your updates. You can select your audience here or even while posting content on Facebook. By default, your most frequent audience is selected. You have the option to select your audience for every Facebook update you make. Use this to keep your information from getting into the wrong hands.
In the ‘Who can contact me,’ you can check which profiles can send you a friends request. Are you getting a lot of requests from strangers you don’t know? Select ‘Friends of friends’ so strangers don’t get access to your Facebook data.
Facebook search is quite powerful. You can limit who can see you on the Facebook search too. People with access to your email or contact number can keep track of your profile even without being in your network. Take control of your profile by giving access only to contacts that you know personally.
With Facebook, you can also see the way your profile is seen by other people. In your profile page, click the three dots next to the ‘View Activity Log’ on the banner image. Select ‘View As’ in the drop-down menu to reach the screen as shown in the image above. Check how the public sees your profile. You can also check how it’s seen by a specific person. Just give the profile name of the person to see what your profile looks like to them.
Social media has been a binding force to bring people together. In some cases, there are people who take advantage of this technology. It’s always beneficial to understand what Facebook can do and mitigate the risks that may arise due to oversight. I hope this post helps you to take control of your privacy on Facebook.
If you’ve employed a different process to protect your interests on Facebook, let me know in the comments section below.