By Kim Komando, Gannett
Facebook is the most popular place for connecting with friends and family online. You share photos, opinions and personal details from your daily life. You don't want this data to fall into the wrong hands. But if you don't set your privacy settings correctly, that's exactly what will happen.
Facebook has a group of recommended settings. It only takes a couple clicks to select them. However, doing so will likely share more information than you would like. That's why you should customize your privacy settings.
Friend list, education and likes
You may not worry about sharing certain information on Facebook. For example, you may be sharing your friends list and your education. However, snoops can tell a lot about you from this information. And others can use it to trick you into friending them.
To hide your friends list, education and work and likes, click Account>>Privacy Settings. Click View Settings under Connecting on Facebook. You'll see the options for these items. Set each to Friends Only.
Birthday, address and phone number
It is more obvious why you want to hide other information on Facebook. These are items that can be used to steal your identity. They can also invite unwelcome contact from strangers or casual acquaintances. I'm talking about items like your birthday, address and phone number.
To hide this data, click Account>>Privacy Settings. Click Customize Settings. A list of information appears. Delete what isn't necessary. You should set most of this to Friends Only. In some cases, you will want to restrict items to You only. For example, you may not feel like sharing your religion.
Places and photos
There are two settings to watch particularly closely. The first relates to Facebook's Places feature, which lets you check in to real-world locations. Facebook contacts will be able to see where you are. By default, friends can check you in without your permission.
The other item you need to watch is photo and video tagging. You probably don't want everyone to see photos and videos you're tagged in. This can lead to embarrassing moments at work.
Click Account>>Privacy Settings and click Customize. Find "Friends can check me in to Places" under "Things others share." Click Edit Settings. Select Disabled and click Okay. Next, click Edit settings beside "Photos and videos you're tagged in." Set it to Friends Only. Click Okay.
Games and apps
Facebook games and apps you use can access your information. You can't revoke access entirely. But you can block access to certain items. Click Account>>Privacy Settings. Click Edit under Apps and Websites. Click Edit Settings under "Apps you use." Select an app to specify what it can access.
You also have to worry about your friends' apps. By default, they see everything that your friends can. Click Account>>Privacy Settings. Click Edit under Apps and Websites. Click Edit Settings under "Info accessible through your friends." You should make much of this information unavailable. Click Save Changes when done.
Facebook lets you limit postings and photos to friends, friends of friends and everyone. You may want more control over who can access your information. You can do this by creating friend lists. You can then grant or block access to specific information by list.
To create a list, click Friends and then Edit friends. Click the Create a List button. Enter a descriptive name for the list. Next, select the friends to include on the list. Finally, click Create List.
Once you've created lists, you can specify them in privacy settings. Just click the button beside a privacy option and select Customize. To grant access to a list, select Specific People under "Make this visible to." Type the name of your list. To block access to a list, type the list name under "Hide this from." When you're done, click Save Setting.