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Facebook Privacy For Ninjas

Alright it’s not really for Ninjas, but you might feel like one after mastering all the options they provide.

Facebook has recently seen some push back against the platform’s attempts to “socialize” a lot of its users’ personal info. I won’t defend Facebook because there certainly are some concerns. However, what every user should know, is how to fully utilize the privacy options they do offer.

Heavy personal use Facebookers dread getting that message in their inbox saying Mom, Grandma, their strange in-law, a boss or coworker has requested to be “friends.” Immediate thoughts of “do I want this person to see my pictures?” or what would they think of my edgy status update?” start flowing.

Let’s be honest, we all have thoughts we wouldn’t share with everyone in our lives, so why shouldn’t you be able to keep certain people out of every little corner of your Facebook profile?

The option used to be to ignore them and hope they forgot about their own request. That may work for the guy at the other side of your office that you walk by once a week, but probably not for your mom. I’ve been pretty successful in talking my own mother out of joining Facebook, but haven’t had to try real hard. Not everyone is that lucky! (just kidding Mom)

If you’re trying to give only certain, handpicked people access to your entire profile, get to know Facebook Lists. Spend some time learning how these lists work because you’ll be amazed what can be accomplished. For example, if you only want your status update about current events to be seen by your politically savvy friends – create a “Current Event Junkies” list.

Then when posting your status, click on the lock button towards the right and “customize” who this update can be seen by. In this example, only your “Current Events” list of friends will be able to see this post and any comments. These options also allow for more sharing without clogging up the news feed.  Using them will also lessen the chances of getting yourself “hidden” or even “unfriended” by users who are adverse to over-sharing.

Think of a scenario for someone who does business in Real Estate and wants to share some industry specific news that would be a real snoozer to the rest of their friends. Sure they could email it, but who reads emails? Instead, create a “Real Estate Pros” list and share away with out worry that other friends’ annoyance factor will rise. Even if you have a page that’s strictly for business, this function is very valuable. The options are many, so try them out and be sure to review them regularly.

What about that trip to Vegas, Hollywood or Miami? Were there some pictures you just don’t need Mom, Boss or a potential client looking at? The same features to handpick who gets to see photo albums exists.

Heavy Facebookers can be very attached to their digital images, so the thought of deleting them is met with resistance. After all, you were just being yourself right? Sure, but you can restrict access to just the “College Crew” friend list for those Vegas pics.

Even if someone else tags you in a photo, the privacy settings allow you to customize which friends get to see those as well.

The best part is, the folks who are seeing the “censored” version of your life will have no idea. Try the “preview profile” option while adjusting your settings and then type in the name of someone who you’re giving limited access to. It will show exactly how your profile looks and what photos are available to that person. Trust me when I say that my eyes really lit up when I saw the settings in action.

There are many more options, especially for those who are most concerned with their personal info, but all the same settings apply.

Give it some time and you can be a Facebook Ninja too.

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