Chapter 5. Privacy and Safety on Facebook

In This Chapter

  • Navigating the many privacy options on Facebook

  • Protecting yourself online and on Facebook

  • Deciding what to share and when

Unfortunately, a lot of horror stories are out there about the Internet, especially about social networking sites. A lot of them involve teenagers and predators, some of them involve identity theft, and others involve far less salacious (but no less real) problems, such as spamming and computer viruses. The bad news is that these things are out there. The good news is that Facebook has some of the most granular privacy controls on the Internet, enabling you to share real information comfortably on Facebook.

Facebook has created a trusted environment that provides three major assets to you:

  • In general, people create real accounts for themselves, and people are who they say they are on Facebook. This means that the community enforces a standard of reality. When people ask you to view their Webcasts or click some mysterious link, those actions are reported by the community and are removed from Facebook. This also means that it's usually easy to tell a real person from a fake one and that you can make informed choices about with whom you interact online.

  • Facebook provides granular privacy controls that are built in to every piece of information you create on the site. We discuss how these work in depth in this chapter. Before we get to that, however, we talk a bit about privacy in general and how Facebook approaches ...

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