I have been pretty good about splitting most of my social media accounts between my personal world and my professional world. Actually I should say between my humor website and my professional website, the only place they really collide is on Facebook. Lately I have been getting a lot of people requesting to add me on there professionally and I don’t want to give them access to my entire life. Additionally my mom joined Facebook last week and I REALLY didn’t want to give her access to all my digital life. (The last thing I want to ever here is, “What happened to that cute girl you had pictures with on Facebook? She seemed nice.”) It was time that I sat down and used the privacy settings built into Facebook to get control of my account.
Here is how I did it.
1) Sat down and created lists for all my friends. You need to place your friends on different lists in order to really use the great privacy functions built into Facebook. Go about this thinking about levels of access not how you know the people. To put your friends on lists click on the friends link at the top of the site and then start creating various lists by using the list functions on the left hand side of the page. (pictured) I have a group called “All Clear”, “Limited Profile”, and then a few others that are a mixture of the two. You will be able to determine what each group sees in the next step.
You can also assign permissions to individual people. So don’t feel like you have to group everyone.
2) Determine who gets access to what. Click on the settings link on the top of the page, go to privacy settings, and then profile. From here you really can divide up how people see your profile and what parts they have access to. The first drop box is for your overall profile, which is the only spot that doesn’t allow you to customize by group. In the customize section you can choose to show your profile to everyone on Facebook, just friends, and assign permissions to your networks.
Next you can go through the other various options from basic info to who can see your pictures. In each of these menus select “customize” and in the box on the bottom select the groups that you DO NOT want to have access to this feature. You can even select individuals if you don’t want to go with groups or if you have someone that you really don’t want to grant access to.
3) Don’t forget your applications and other features. After making all the changes on how people can see your profile go back to the privacy settings page and go through your applications. You don’t want to forget this especially if you are importing content from Twitter, your blog, or other things you do not want everyone to have access to.
The cool thing about doing this is that on most of these pages you can enter a person’s name and it will show you what they can see on your profile. It is a great testing feature. Make sure to try out different groups and test what people see to make sure that you don’t accidently grant access to something you don’t want. When you do this don’t forget to check out the various tabs of your profile.