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Five Basic Facebook Tips

Use Facebook a bit more privately and wisely with these five Facebook tips. You don't use Facebook? No problem, check out tip #1 to view business pages on Facebook and see what you've been missing!

Use Facebook a bit more privately and wisely with these five Facebook tips.

1.  You Can Access Facebook Business Pages even if you don’t have a Facebook Account.  If you are interested in checking out a company or organization’s Facebook page, simply use a search engine and type in the name of the company or organization followed by Facebook.  Chances are that you will find a listing for their Facebook page.  Alternatively if you know their Facebook username e.g., www.facebook.com/”username” you can directly access their page by typing this into your web browser.  Why do you want to check out a Facebook business page?  You may find events, discounts, special offers, promotions, or news about a company’s products.  You will also find a link to the company’s website on the Info tab if you are looking for additional information.  Many local towns, libraries, restaurants, the news media, and small businesses have Facebook business pages.  Check them out and you may be pleasantly surprised!

2.  You Can Keep A Low Profile on Facebook.  You do not have to post a profile picture or post abundant personal information on Facebook. The only information required on Facebook is your sign up information – name, email, gender, birth date, and account password for log in.  Once you have an account your birth date can be hidden by going to Profile, Edit Profile, and selecting “Don’t show my birthday in my profile” or “Show only month & day in my profile” from the drop down under your birth date.

3.  Review Your Privacy Settings Monthly.  As Facebook makes enhancements to features it may also enhance privacy setting options.  Facebook also defaults to opting in rather than opting out.  Be sure there are no new features that you are opted into.  Become a fan of Facebook and Privacy (www.facebook.com/fbprivacy) to get the latest updates from Facebook on privacy topics, and watch the Facebook privacy videos on that page to learn more about privacy settings.

4.  Hide from Search Engines.  To optimize privacy, make sure that your Facebook profile will not be found by search engines.  Click on Account, Privacy Settings, and Edit your settings from Apps and Websites.   Then click on Edit Settings from Public search.  Facebook will default to “Enable public search” (the box will have a check mark).  Just click on the check mark next to “Disable public search”.  To see how your profile preview would look on a search engine, click on See preview.

5.  Top News vs. Most Recent.  Your News Feed will default to Top News.  This is based upon a Facebook algorithm, and is a subset of your complete News Feed.  Click on Most Recent to see all your News Feed items.  Click on the drop down next to Most Recent for additional News Feed filtering options one of which is Edit Options.  Click on this so that you can filter your News Feed to show posts by "Friends and pages you interact with the most” or “All of your friends and pages”.  If you have been missing posts, it could be because of this setting!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John Cocchiola August 22, 2011 at 04:08 AM
Social Media certainly can be useful, but we all have a choice (thanks for that!). We've used it to network for dog rescue, fighting breed specific legislation, other things too. It's also a good way to keep up with old friends, family, I'm in NY and can play scrabble with my sister in Los Angeles. It's made the world smaller, which I think is good. Of course there are downsides too. I thought this video was very interesting, she talks about our "second self", and our "analog life". Watch it, it's pretty cool. http://www.ted.com/talks/amber_case_we_are_all_cyborgs_now.html
Jeri Usbay August 22, 2011 at 01:03 PM
Great discussion! I believe the online world, including social media can be great tools when used in moderation as long as they are not replacements for non digital forms of communication. I do post some of my favorite pics on Facebook, but I also print them and put in albums. I actually miss the days when friends or family would visit with their touch and feel photo albums – somehow turning pages is more rewarding than clicking through an online photo album for this baby boomer! We can all benefit from unplugging from time to time, which is the subject of my last blog.
John Cocchiola August 22, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Don't forget that whole Lady Gaga thing, raising the half million for the SCO. That was all done through Social Media networking. Good stuff. This group uses Social Media to help rescue dogs. This is "Trip", one we just saved from the big sleep in Chicago. http://network.bestfriends.org/17493/news.aspx
Gregory Mandarano August 30, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Leah is certainly correct when she says that social media in and of itself is a distraction from the real pleasures in life, however in that respect the benefit of having social media in keeping in touch with people in your life outweighs the negatives of people who use it as a substitution for regular social interaction. The biggest problem with social media networks lay in the shadowy and subtle world of information gathering. There is a dwindling level of privacy that goes hand in hand with advanced technologies and new mediums for people to interact with each other. The further we extend social media into the future, the less privacy people will be able to enjoy. Already there is the danger of damaging one's work career by failing to keep a division between ones personal and 'private' social interactions and one's public and career based interactions. You hear about it all the time where people are fired from their jobs because of something they posted on facebook that was read by their employers and deemed unacceptable. A further extension of this is keeping a division between ones private communications and the oversight of the nanny state. It's already been established that facebook has deals with intelligence networks which scour facebook leeching information to use for their own, sometimes nefarious, purposes. Then there's the criminal extension, like in England, where kids have been prosecuted because of comments they made on facebook encouraging rioting.
Gregory Mandarano August 30, 2011 at 02:13 AM
Ultimately, as social media develops, there is going to be an increased bleeding of information meant for private use, into the hands of government, corporations, and the workforce. It inevitably becomes the burden of the individual user to protect the privacy of their information and their communications from the outside world as a whole. Social media also creates new questions for the rule of law over such basic freedoms as the freedom of speech. England only recently backed away from a plan to shut down social media sites, such as facebook and twitter, in emergency situations, due to the extreme unpopularity of the move. The bottom line is that when interacting with others on internet social media platforms, there is an increasing burden of responsibility on the part of the user to both protect themselves, and shield themselves from potential prosecution or negative fallout from comments taken in the wrong way.

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