Are you a Facebook user? Know and update your privacy settings
Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent.
Goto: Account ->Privacy Settings http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy
The first section is Connecting on Facebook. There you can control basic information your friends will use to find you on Facebook. Click on View Settings. Your name, profile picture, gender and networks are visible to everyone. You can set who all can search for you on facebook, send friend request, messages etc. You can change settings by selecting "Everyone" / "Friends of Friends" / "Friends only". Update the settings and go back to the privacy page.
Next section – “Sharing on Facebook” is an important section. There you can set what all details can be shared and to whom. The details which you share with “Everyone” can be accessed by anyone in the facebook including the application. So it is better not to allow your details to “Everyone”. If you think you want more friends or to be more social, you can choose “Friends of friends” option. Friends of friends means only your friends and there friends can access your details.
Click set same setting to all details by clicking on the setting in left side or select “Customize” and click on Customize settings to set different settings for different details.
I recommend you to select at least “Friends of Friends” settings for your personal details.
Important: Controlling Apps, Games and Websites from accessing your information
This section controls what information is shared with websites and apps, including search engines (apps and websites you and your friends use already have access to your name, profile picture, gender, networks, friend list, user ID, username, and any other information you share with everyone). You can view your apps, remove any you don’t want to use, or turn off platform completely. Turning off platform means you won’t be able to use any platform apps or websites and we won’t share your information with them.
Click on Edit your settings in the Apps and Websites section.
Here you can see a list of applications that you are using(or in others words the applications which can access your personal data).
Click on “Remove” button to remove/controll the applications or you can Turn off all platform apps(High safty for your profile).
If you click on “Remove” button, you will get a complete list of allowed applications.
You can remove an application by clicking on the remove button or you can edit which all details can be accessed by that application.
If you click on Edit Settings, you can see the application permissions and which information is accessed.
For example, I am using Windows Live application and it can access my Basic info, profile info, contact info and almost all the details. “Last data access:” shows when did this application accessed my data last time. The Windows live application never accessed my data.
There are few details which are required by that application to run. You have to grant access to that details and you can revoke access to other details.
Best option – Remove all the applications
I removed all the applications, So am I safe now?
NOOOO.. If your friend is using an application, then it can access your information. So how we can disable that?
Click on Edit Settings button in “Info accessible through your friends” section and uncheck all the options and Save Changes.
Next section is "Instant Personalization". Disable Instant Personalization to prevent facebook partners(Bing, Rotten, Docs etc.) from receiving any of your information through instant personalization, even content you have made available to everyone.
“Public Search”- Enable or disable your profile from appearing in public search engines.
Well.. You are still not safe but at least few things are in your control. If you want complete safety and privacy- Remove your Facebook account