Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Facebook Making Changes to its Privacy Settings in 2015

On January 1, 2015, Facebook is changing its terms of service to include new privacy issues that allow users to control their information. Of course, in Facebook speak, that means that you must be a rocket scientist in order to interpret the terms of service and how to control the new privacy settings.

I will say though, what’s different about this change is that Facebook announced it more than a month before its enactment. Normally they go along and change things on the fly and say, “Oh, by the way, we just changed everything.”

So what does this mean for us? Facebook is introducing “Privacy Basics”, a new system to show you who can see your information, the amount of information that others can see, from all aspects of the platform. They’ve broken down the basics into three categories:
  • What Others See About You
  • How Others Interact With You
  • What You See
It’s important to note that the new launch won’t change any of the settings that are in place now. If you want to have more control over privacy settings, you’ll have to go into these areas to make the changes manually. Here’s a few examples of the things you’ll have access to:

Post- Choose who can see photos and other things you post on Facebook
Profile - Adjust how your profile looks to someone else
Friends List - Don’t you hate it when other people troll your friends list when they view your profile? Now you’ll have and option to control this function.
Search - What do non-friends see when they search for you?
Timeline - Learn how to manage what other people can post on your timeline.
Untagging - This is a big one. You’ll be able to un-tag a picture that someone else has tagged you in. Personally, for me, this drives me nuts. If I want a picture of my family on Facebook, I’ll put it there. Now you’ll be able to control other peoples tags when they pertain to you.
Ads - Back in June, I wrote about some ad issues and ways to minimize what you see through a third-party organization that can help you minimize interest-based ads. Now Facebook has helped you do this through their internal settings. In 2015, you’ll have control (to an extent) of what ads you want to see. In some cases, you’ll be able to go as far as to block a particular advertiser.

Take a few moments after the first of the year to make your Facebook experience work better for you. On Facebook’s Privacy Basics Page, you can read more on each of these new changes. Some options are currently available.

Now is the time is to set a date with your computer to review the privacy settings in Facebook. We’re all looking for a cleaner, less junkified way to use the largest social media platform in the world.

  is the author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling Young Adult novel, The Card and the Holiday Hit, So This is Christmas. A version of this post appeared on Indies Unlimited