Protect yourself when using Facebook
Facebook is lots of fun and is very popular amongst Sheffield students (and staff). However, it contains significant risks and is considered by some to have malicious undertones.
Adjust your Privacy Settings
By default your profile is visible to all your networks, and it is easy for any Facebook member to join any network. This allows potential criminals to find your profile. You should, therefore, use the Privacy link in Facebook to change your settings in order to make your profile harder to find. You should:
- Make all aspects of your profile visible to 'Only my friends'
- Set photos and videos should be set to 'Only my friends', but also make sure they are not embarrassing, do not contain other people, and preferably are blurred or vague. Embarrassing photos rarely disappear from the internet.
- Set the 'who can see your contact information' option to 'No-one'
- Be careful when setting the the search options. If you do want anyone to be able to find you, at least make sure you deselect the external search engines option, and also deselect some of your profile elements that would be shown in the search results.
- Finally, take time to read the advice from internet security firm Sophos
Choose your friends wisely
The culture of Facebook encourages people to accumulate the maximum number of friends possible. However, you must remember that people on the internet may not be who they say they are.
- Your friends can see all of your profile, so only make friends with people you know. If you have any doubts about a potential friend, try to find out more about them.
- Only share pictures with people once you have become friends.
- Even just replying to people who you don't know gives them temporary access to your profile.
- If you do become suspicious of somebody you can remove them from your group of friends.
- Use the limited friends option to show certain people a cut-down version of your profile. This is good for work colleagues as well as people that you don't know very well.