Facebook has just made some huge changes to its News Feed and added new features such as Ticker and Lists (see my last blog on Facebook updates). So what does it mean for your privacy? With all these new features and so called improvements, there comes uncertainty as to what it can do and what you are exposing yourself to.
Subscribe - Firstly you must understand that anything you post or comment on a Friend’s wall is public and may show up in other people’s Tickers or Timelines. You may have seen this on your friends’ wall:
Please do me a favour and move your mouse over my name here, wait for the box to load and then move your mouse over the "Subscribe" link. Then uncheck the "Comments and Likes". I would really rather that my comments on friends and families posts not be made public, thank You! Then re-post this if you don't want your every single move posted on the right side in the "Ticker Box" for everyone to see. I'll be glad to do the same for you if you post this!
People are clearly worried about what is being shared where.
If you want to hear what certain Friends are saying more than others, you can edit your subscription to them by hovering over the Subscribe button on the top right hand corner and choosing what to hear. You also have the option to unsubscribe to their news (don’t worry, they won’t be told!)
Remember you can also Subscribe to important people like artists and politicians and be able to follow them just like on Twitter.
Sharing - Make sure you check the sharing settings before you post an update or photo / video to select your audience. Do this by clicking on the sharing icon on the bottom of the status box. If you do not see a sharing icon (because you are on a public page, for example) always assume what you are posting is public.
Lists – You can now organise your Friends into Lists and then share your news to a particular list. If you add a Friend to a Smart List, be aware that they will be notified (except if adding them to Close Friends) so make sure you don’t mind them knowing which list you to add them to.
Tags - Check your privacy settings and make sure you are happy with how Tags are set up. If you are tagged in a photo you should a) now be asked to agree to the tagging and b) be able to see who can see the photo and remove the tag by clicking on the blue cog symbol on the top right of the post. You can always block a person who persistently tags you without your permission.
Facebook Pages are public and are used by companies to share information about their products. If you “like” a Page you link to it, it is added to your profile and may be shown in your Friends News Feed. You can check how your Page looks to the outside world by clicking on View As… Remember any updates you post which are marked as Public can be seen by anyone, not just your Friends.
The updates to Facebook, which are intended to make your choices easier and clearer, seem to pose an important question (and a bit of a tongue twister!) - Should social media be so social by default? What do you think?