Law enforcement personnel who use Facebook for personal reasons need to secure their pages. It's not only for your safety, but your family and co-worker's safety as well. The online security and safety of law enforcement is paramount today.
Unfortunately, many people sign up for a Facebook account and think once they've gone through the initial account set up, they don't need to do anything else. Simply put, you need to do me, your family and your friends a favor, and lock down your page. Take a couple of minutes and follow these instructions, and your online security will greatly improve.
Step 1 - Check Your Security
First, go up to the address bar and copy the address of your Facebook page. This might sound funny, but many people confuse the address bar for the search bar. The address bar will have something like "https://Facebook.com/yourwebpage in it. Once you have located it, copy the address and log out of your Facebook account.
Now, paste the address you copied into the address bar. Whatever you see on the screen is what someone, who is not your friend, can see. In other words, this is what the public can see. If there's anything like your job description, photos of your followers and the various Facebook pages you "like" showing, you know as well as I do that someone can start "digging" to find out more about you. But that's a different article for another time.
Regardless of whether you can or can't see any of your page while completely logged out of Facebook, you still need to check your settings. There are some options which apply to "Friends of friends." This means that even if you are friends with Jack, friends of Jack might still be able to see some things about you, even though you don't know Jack's friends.
Step 2 - Adjust Your Privacy Settings
Go up to the blue Facebook bar and click on the last icon on the right, which is an arrow pointing down. Once the drop down menu opens, scroll down to "Settings." Once the page opens, click on the "Privacy" tab on the left navigation menu. Make the following adjustments:
Who can see my stuff?
Who can see your future posts?- Set this to "Friends"
Limit The Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline - Select "Limit Old Posts"
Who can look me up?
Who can look you up using the email address you provided? - Select "Friends"
Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? - Select "Friends"
Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline? - Uncheck "Let other search engines link to your timeline"
Step 3 - Adjust Your Timeline And Tagging
Click on the tab on the left navigation menu, and make the following adjustments:
Who can add things to my timeline?
Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline? - Select "Enabled"
Who can see things on my timeline?
Review what other people see on your timeline - Click on "View As." This will open up your page so you can see how it looks to whomever you select at the top of the page, or the public.
Who can see posts you've been tagged in on your timeline? - Select "Only Me"
Who can see what others post on your timeline? - Select "Friends"
How can I manage tags people add and tagging suggestions? - Select "Enabled"
Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded? - Select "Only Me"
Securing Your Personal Information
Click on your name on the top blue Facebook bar. Your page will appear with your timeline on the right, and your "About," "Friends," "Photos," and more on the left side. Hover over the area where you see your job, education, city, etc., and click on the pencil icon which will suddenly appear.
To the right of every field you have entered, such as work and education, you will see an icon appear, which will allow you to adjust the depth of the security you wish. This should at minimum be set to "Friends."
Continue down the list of "Work and Education," "Places You've Lived," "Contact and Basic Info," Family and Relationships," "Details About You," and "Life Events." All of these, at minimum, should be set to "Friends."
Your Friends List
Return to your timeline, and hover over the "Friends" title above your friends' pictures. You will see the pencil icon appear. Click on it and select "Edit Privacy." Make the following adjustments:
Friend List - Who can see your friend list? - Select "Only Me"
Following - Who can see the people and lists you follow? - Select "Only Me"
Checking Your Work
When you're all done, go back to your settings and check what your page looks like to other people, under the "Who can see things on my timeline" area. This will show you what the public will be able to view.
This information is current as of today, January 12, 2014. As you know, Facebook, along with every other social media platform, makes frequent changes to their features and navigation structure. Also, you may not want to "screw down" your security settings as tight as I have suggested. At least you've gained a greater understanding of the settings on your Facebook page.