Tag Archives: Facebook

Securing Your Online Persona

I had coffee recently with a super fun group of ladies. The topic came up about personal information available on the internet when one mentioned she’d received an email from Facebook asking for her phone number. She ID’d it as a scam and deleted it. I believe it was probably a legit email, but it never hurts to be careful.

That discussion, and a request from a dear friend, warranted a blog about securing your online persona (a.k.a. choosing what people can see about you on the internet).

There are a loComputer Identity2t of articles dedicated to getting off the grid or becoming invisible on the internet. We’re not interested in going that far. People can know we’re on the internet, but if you’re like me, you want to control how much personal information leaks out. Me? I like to keep my public personal information to a minimum. My friends and family know how to contact me and that’s what’s important.


In case you were wondering, here’s why websites ask for our phone numbers.

Reason One: New website security these days includes what they call “two-step” verification. Step 1: you log in with your normal user ID and password, Step 2: a security program sends a code to your phone via text, voice, or mobile app. You enter the newly sent code to log on.

Do you have to do this every time? No. There is a box to check or a question telling the security program to stop flagging the computer where you just logged on and to allow logging on from that computer without the code in the future.

Reason Two: Websites, such as Twitter, are allowing log ins with only a telephone number. There’s no user ID or password. You get a security code texted to that phone number and use it to enter the website.

cell phoneReason Three: The website is using marketing apps. Advertising texts, including coupons, and voice mail marketing are part of this.

Reason Four: Websites where you transact business will ask for your phone number as well as your address. These websites usually have your info on a secure page (denoted by https:// at the beginning of the URL address).

Bank, broker, auction, and other financial or sales websites are different than social media websites like Facebook or Twitter. I don’t put my phone number on social websites; I don’t want to be that social. Facebook would like to be the next Amazon, and does offer advertising packages. But for the majority of Facebook users it’s still just another social media site. No hate mail please, Facebook lovers.

Whether you give out your phone number or not is up to you. I do on financial and sales sites because I want them knowing they can call me if there’s a problem. On social media sites, I do not. They have my email address; they can email me.

There is also the fact that typing my landline number into any search engine (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc)  will pull up my address. If you know my cell phone number, my name and address can be requested for a fee.


 Securing Your Online Information

Let’s talk about securing what personal information is floating out in cyberspace. The one we’ll tackle today is social media.

social mediaWe all love social media. There are so many wonderful things about it. It keeps us in touch with distant friends and relatives, and lets us know in real time what’s happening in people’s lives. We can view photos of loved ones we don’t see regularly, and follow businesses and events.

In my opinion, the best of all worlds is to be able to utilize social media while keeping my personal information safe.

I’ve included a few the largest social media sites in the U.S. below. Believe it or not, there are dozens of others in almost every country around the planet. If your favorite isn’t listed, I bet you’ll see a trend in the below examples and be able to find your way through your site.

Facebook Privacy

Not long ago, Facebook redesigned its site to make it very easy to tighten up your personal information and security.

Find the padlock in the top right corner of your Facebook page. 1) Left-click on padlock, and select 2) Privacy Checkup.
Facebook privacy checkup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The screens to update your information look like example screens, but they’re actually interactive so you can click and adjust your information.

First Step is “Your Posts”. Remember, Facebook Terms of Service allow that your intellectual property rights (pictures, videos, etc.) are “subject to your privacy and application settings”. So if you set your privacy to “public”, Facebook assumes you mean anyone and everyone.
fb checkup options

Second Step is setting “Your Apps”. These are sites you’ve logged onto with Facebook. Remember being asked by a website if you want to use Facebook to log on? This is where the sites you said yes to are listed.
Connect with FB

FYI: Being a paranoid individual, I rarely sign on with Facebook. Exceptions would be benign website like National Geographic, Washington Post, Fox News, etc. I’m okay with these sites knowing as much about me as Facebook.

Third Step is “Your Profile”. You can make this as secure or as public as you wish. I bet you didn’t know you had an individual Facebook email address, did you? Now you do.

Twitter Privacy

Adjusting Twitter privacy settings are pretty much like any standard website. You can tell people as much or as little as you’d like by what’s in your profile.

1) Go to the Me tab, 2) left-click the Account gear, then 3) Settings. Under Settings you will see how your information is presented on Twitter. 4) Edit profile will allow you to edit your information.
Twitter Settings

 

Pinterest Privacy

PInterest’s privacy settings are accessed in the upper right corner under your name. 1) Left-click the gear, then 2) left-click Account Settings. You don’t need to click “Edit Profile” because you can adjust that under Account Settings.

PInterest account settings

Youtube Privacy

Settings are in the top right corner by your picture. See a pattern here? Many, if not all, setting options are in the upper right corner of your browser window very close to where your picture is or would be if you uploaded one.

1) Left-click your picture, 2) left-click the Settings gear icon,
Youtube

 

 

 

 

3) The left margin contains areas you might wish to adjust.
Yourtube privacy

 

Google+ Privacy

If you don’t know what Google+ is you might not have an accounGoogle+t. But, if you have Gmail for your email provider, you might have an account and don’t know it. To find it, in the top right of your email main page you’ll see your name with a + behind it. Left-click on that to get into Google+.

Google+ Privacy settings are…you guessed it, upper right corner by your picture.
1) Left-click the menu arrow beside the picture area, 2) click Privacy.
Google plus

 

If you hover over the Home area to the left, you’ll get more options. You can edit your profile here and access Settings at the bottom of the list.
Google plus Home

Don’t forget to update the Audence tab (1). This lets you determine who can see your Google+ stuff.  It’s under Settings.
Google plus privacy

 


I hope you now know a bit more about how much of yourpersonal information is accessable through websites.

There is  great government website that addresses these issues also: Guide to Keeping Your Social Media Accounts Secure 2015 .

Rest easy with your new social media piece of mind, and thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


Other security articles you might find interesting:

Facebook: LIttle Known Tips and Tricks Tip Six three-fourths of the way down the page also talks about public posts on Facebook.

Giving Out Credit Card Numbers

Microsoft Won’t Call You…EVER!

Creating the Safest Passwords

Spotting Hoax Emails


DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.

Advertisements

Facebook: More Cool Features

After reviewing items for a previous Facebook blog, I realized there are more Facebook features people might appreciate. Today our feature presentation will be the Save option. Grab a bag of popcorn, dim the lights, sit back, and enjoy.

Patti's Pathways presents
Facebook’s Save Feature:

Did you know you can save posts on Facebook similar to bookmarking pages in an internet browser?

Here’s how.

First, a post has to have a direct link if you wish to save it.

Don’t all posts? Nope. Posts without a direct link don’t offer a Save option. Facebook says you can track down the original post and save from a different Facebook page. We’ll talk about this later.

How to Save A Facebook Post:

1) Click the dropdown menu in the right top of the post you wish to Save.

Using my last blog topic as an example, we’ll save “Setting Default Programs”.
Save post dropdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy, right? Now you’re probably asking yourself, How do I find my new saved Facebook posts.

Retrieving Saved Posts

On your Facebook’s Home page, you have a left margin item named Saved. Here’s where all your favorite posts have been saved to view later.
saved

 

 

 

 

When you click Saved, your saved posts will open in a new window. Facebook is nice and categorizes them for you.
Retrieve saves

 

When you don’t want a post any longer, you can delete it from your saved posts.

Deleting Saved Posts

1). Archive the post you wish to delete by clicking the ‘x’ in the upper right of the post on your saved posts list.
To archive Saved

 

2) Go to Archive
go to archive

 

3) Find the link you wish to delete, 4) Click the “…” .., 5) Delete.
Delete saved post

 

Finding an Original Facebook Post Link:

Remember earlier in the post I told you that you can only use the Save option if the link is in the post? Here’s how to find the original post link:

1) Right-click the time stamp and 2) left-click Copy Link Location.
Copy Link Location

3) Paste into your browser’s address bar, and go.

Earlier in this post I said “Facebook says” you can copy a link location because I followed one and never found any save options. I’m not certain if I could’ve followed the link farther back or if a Facebook user is just out of luck. Play around with it and see what you find. If you figure it out let me know in the comment section, I’d appreciate it.


While we’re discussing Facebook, did you know…

  • cell gpsFacebook mobile apps can be used like a GPS to track users.

This is bad if strangers wish to track your kids, but great if you do. For their sake, help them disable their Facebook mobile tracking: Settings>Messenger Location Services>Disable.

  • There’s at least one, possibly more, websites where you enter a Facebook user name and it will try to hack that Facebook account for you.

Horrible, isn’t it? I’m not going to post a name or link because these criminals don’t need the publicity.

Just be aware that idiots abound in this world. Don’t be scared to use Facebook, just do everything in your power to keep your passwords safe. If you’d like help, read my post Creating the Safest Passwords.

Facebook EULA statements you may or may not know.

According to Facebook’s EULA,

  • “You will not create more than one personal account.”

No clue what happens if they find out you have. I suppose they delete one.

  • “For content that is covered by intellectual property riFB logoghts, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).”

I’ve updated this section as originally I neglected to mention the usage of your information by Facebook is subject to your privacy settings. Facebook won’t use your items publically if you have your privacy settings restricted. And yes, if you have your settings as public, they can use them for advertising since they are a for-profit corporate entity.

  • “When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).”

Your name and profile picture (as well as your cover photo, I believe), have always been public information regardless of your privacy settings.

And don’t forget the ever inclusive:

  • “We reserve all rights not expressly granted to you.”

For more information on EULA’s, read my post Making Sense of Terms of Service.)


Now that you’ve found another tool offered by Facebook, go ahead and save your favorite posts. Thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


 

DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.


Facebook: Changes Coming January 1, 2015

Guess what? The Facebook gods are messing with your Facebook universe again.FB logo

In my never-to-be-humble opinion, some of the changes are good, some are not, and some only a few people will care about (a.k.a. developers and programmers).


The Good Stuff:

Privacy Check-Up:

Dear Facebook, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Facebook is adding prompts to help you do just what I taught you in Facebook: Little Known Tips and Tricks, tips five through seven.

Make sure to use this new feature. It’s a great privacy tool. If you want a sneak peek, go here.

“BUY” Button:

In some markets, Facebook is testing a “Buy” button so you can purchase items without leaving Facebook. I have no clue if you’re in a test market, but January 1 you’ll know.

One-time Advertising Control:

You’ll be able to set up advertising options once and it will cover all your devices – mobile or otherwise. Prior to this, you had to set your preferences on each device.


 Neutral Stuff:

mapLocation Information:

Facebook loves to ask where you are and what you’re doing. Now when you tell them, you’ll be prompted with things you might like to do, places you’ll like to eat, and Facebook friends in the area. This might end up being good, but I’m still evaluating the needs for this kind of privacy invasion.

Facebook Family of Companies and Apps:

Facebook has expanded its reach over the years. New terms in January will explain what, and who, their family of companies are plus apps you can use to interact.

Developer Updates:

If you’re a developer, you must comply with Facebook’s Platform Policy. All your special provisions will be merged and linked to an external page. You can find more info here.


The Not-So-Good Stuff:frown face yellow coffee mug

Ad Cookies:

Facebook is jumping on the advertising bandwagon by adding to their cookies. I think you’ll see more ads on your Facebook pages.

“We offer a range of products and features that involve the use of these technologies to reach you based on your activity on and off our Services.”

 Advertising:

But the ads you see won’t be free ones.

“Now we’re bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.”

That we understand and that’s good, but the next part…

“According to people we surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:
1 Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
2.Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real  context
3.Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads”
Here’s what Facebook has to say about organic posts.

“Organic reach refers to how many people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page.”

Previously, creating and using a Facebook page for only advertising was a no-no. Now, they’ve narrowed it to individual posts.

What does this mean for home-based businesses,  book giveaways from authors, or using canned marketing packages?  I understand it to mean you can’t. I’m not sure of the consequences if you do. I would guess if someone turns in your post to the Facebook police, they’ll take it down.

An example of an organic post per Facebook is shown below. I certainly hope they don’t consider every post from bit.ly an ad. Some of the best recipes found on Facebook are there.
organic post1

What can you do to advertise your product on Facebook? You can pay.  Facebook says they are only trying to keep their subscribers happy and not make money. You decide.

For more information, go to Facebook’s explanation page: Organic Reach on Facebook. If you’re a business client of Facebook, you can find added info here.

 For updates to Facebook Terms and Privacy Policies, click here.

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of this magical season, have a great week, and thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways.


Related posts: Making Sense of Terms of Service


DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.

 

New Facebook Settings

First…cheering

let me show my appreciation to
the Facebook gods
for answering our prayers —

WOOHOO!!!


Disclaimer: as of this moment in time, my FB page hasn’t been updated—yes, I’ve tried relogging, no dice—so I can’t verify if the new Newsfeed settings work, but it’s too great a tweak to keep under wraps.


Yesterday Facebook informed the public that it’s updating Newsfeed settings. Why is this terrific news?

FB logoThe update primarily affects the kinds of posts people wish to view on Facebook.

You’ll be able to specify what you see and from whom.

Yep, you won’t have to view the one hundred baby pictures your new cousin uploaded…unless you want to; you won’t need to read about the latest trip your neighbor made to the grocery store…unless you wish to; and you won’t find out who your friends are endorsing for Congress…unless you want to.

You’ll be able to personalize your Facebook Newsfeed and limit what you view without unfriending or unfollowing.

See? It is great news.

The below video gives great information on how to apply and utilize the changes. While they’re demonstrated on a mobile device, but is reportedly available for desktops as well.

Enjoy your new Facebook independence and have a great week. Oh, and as always, thanks for following Patti’s Pathways.


 

DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.

Facebook: Little Known Tips and Tricks

FB logoI’ve been on Facebook again for a while now. I deleted my account for three years, but was talked into reactivating it. Had I known some of these tips my first go ’round, I would’ve tweaked my account so I wasn’t so overwhelmed.

You may already know some or all of these — in which case they’re not little known — but I thought I’d pass along some of the more useful tools and security settings I’ve uncovered anyway.


TIP ONE:

We all have that one person in our Facebook lives. You know the one. They insist we be part of every dental exam, every vet visit, every emotional breakdown, their list goes on. We like them and don’t want to hurt their feelings, but their Facebook posts are just clogging our newsfeed.

UNFOLLOW A NEWSFEED

In the example below, if I no longer wanted to see what John Tesh has to tell me, I can hover over the 1) arrow in the top right of his post, then 2) click Unfollow John Tesh. John won’t know, and I’ll just no longer see his newsfeeds on my Facebook page.
Unfollow

 

John’s Facebook account is public or I’d have blurred out his info. It’s a great site.

FB TIP TWO:

HIDE GROUP NEWSFEEDS:

I’m a member of several Facebook groups. One group has thousands of members so the posts get overwhelming. I like this group and want to remain a member of it but at my leisure.

We can do the same thing with groups as we did with an individual. Instead of Unfollowing though, with Groups it’s known as Archiving.

1) Navigate to the Group’s home page, and 2) click the ellipsis. Yep, that’s its name. Then 3) choose Archive Group.Archive Group

 

 

 

 

 

4) View the ominous warning, and click “Archive”.
Archive Warning

 

 

 

 

 

I have a short memory so I’ve decided I want to reactivate my group newsfeeds. And how could I forget John Tesh has intelligence for my life so I want his newsfeed back also.

TIP THREE:

Unarchiving a Group Feed/Refollowing a Person

1) Find the News Feed Settings gear, and 2) choose Edit Settings.
Newsfeed Settings Gear

 

 

 

 

3) Click the “x” beside the group/person you’d like to view posts again on your Facebook page.
unarchive group

 

 

4) Click Save. Now all the newsfeeds you’ve selected are back.

 

 TIP FOUR

Ever want to post something you really don’t want your boss to see? How about posts you really, really don’t want Aunt Agnes to see? Or something less nefarious: a joke only a few good friends will understand.

You’d need a way to select who you send what. Facebook has that.


You can accomplish your goal of sending posts and photos to chosen Facebook friends in one of two ways: 1) create a list, or 2) set up a group.

With lists or groups, your bff sees everything — articles, jokes, sayings, emo rants — while co-workers can only see a few jokes or an article you shared about production.

Facebook has already included lists for you to populate. There are Close Friends for people you keep in contact with, and Acquaintances for people you don’t. Restricted is useful for people like your boss and managers; I’d include co-workers with the insatiable need to gossip in this list also. Or you can create you own.

What’s the difference?

Stuff Lists Do Groups Can’t

  • Lists are connected to your security settings.

NOTE: If you use a list to limit your audience, your default may reset to that list. I’ve had that happen, but can’t verify or recreate it happening every single time. If it does, you can change it by setting the next post to Friends or whichever list you wish the post sent. Or you can do it through settings.

Under 1) Settings
FB Settings

2) Click Privacy in the left margin, then you can see and set a default.
Privacy List

 

  • Lists will not notify all your Facebook contacts you’ve create a new list. When you create a new group, it’s blabbed all over your Facebook.

Stuff Groups Do Lists Don’t

1) Groups limit what people view on your wall. You can set a group to only see what you’ve posted for that group.

You could do this for lists, but you’d need several monster lists minus the special people you wish to un-include.

2) Groups are customizable.

  • You can set a specific picture to represent your group.
  • Administrators can be assigned.
  • Groups can have their own customized email address.
    This is kind of a neat feature. When information is sent to the Group’s email address, it posts to their wall.

3) You can use the Share feature on Group posts.  Lists don’t support this function.


Making a List

1) On your Home page’s left-hand margin, scroll down and hover over Friends, then  2) click More.
Friends-More

 

 

 

 

3) Click Create List
Create list

 

 

 

 

4) Add people to your new list.
Facebook makes it easy. When you type a letter, you’ll get friend choices.
Add to friend list

 

Using Your New List

When you post in the “What’s on your mind?” Facebook box, you can choose your  list.

1) Write your thoughts or insert your photo, and 2) Choose your list.
Select List of Friends who see post

Yes, I have tested this. Only the people on your list can see your post.

FYI: If you switch lists, your post is removed from the original recipient’s page and resent to the new receiver.

Remember: the List function may set the last list used as your default.

Updating Your Lists

1) Simply click on the list name in the right margin, 2) click Manage List to add or delete people, change the list name, plus more.
Update Friends List

 

Creating A Group

1) Click on Create Group under your Groups area in the left margin.Create Group side panel

2) Pick a name, 3) add members, and 4) choose your Privacy specs.
Create target list

 

TIP FIVE:

You’ve got your security settings just like you want them… secure. So you might not want everyone and his dog —yes, some canines love Facebook — seeing your reply comments.

Are you ever curious about who can see what you write on someone else’s post?

Who Can View Your Comments

Hovering over the icon below their name tells you exactly who can see your replies/comments.

The first person’s Facebook posts are Public, the second are only Shared with their friends.Public-private sharing

 

 

TIP SIX:

Did you realize that your Facebook Friends can take your secure information with them to other apps or games? Apps are usually granted access to FB information when a person logs into other websites with their Facebook account.

When you give a trusted contact free rein to your information, they could be giving it away and not even know it.

Secure How Much of Your Information Others Can Share

1) Go to Settings, 2) Apps in the left margin, and 3) scroll down to Apps Others Use and 4) click Edit.
Apps others use

 

 

 

 

 

5) Uncheck what you don’t want passed on and 6) Save. I’ve unchecked everything.

HELPFUL HINT: While you’re at the bottom of the Apps page, I’d recommend disabling the Instant Personalization option. This prohibits your public info from being used by Facebook’s third-party partner sites, like TripAdvisor or Pandora.

TIP SEVEN:

If you want to be a courteous friend and not bombard people with paid ads from stuff you like, you can turn that feature off.

1) Go to Settings, 2) Ads in the left margin, 3) click Edit by Ads And Friends. Set it to 4) No one and 5) Save.Facebook ad


HELPFUL HINT:
While you’re on this page, set your Third-party Sites (above Ads and Friends) to No one just in case at some future date Facebook decides to sell its user lists.

TIP EIGHT:

Did you know you have an “Other” message box? If your Facebook page isn’t Public and someone who’s not your FB Friend sends you a message, it ends up in your Other box.

If you click on the word bubble icon to get to your messages, you’ll also see your Other tab.
Other Message Box


Now that your to-do list is overflowing with Facebook tasks, I’ll leave you alone to digest this post. I have one last tip: Like the Facebook Security page. You’ll get the latest in threat news, plus some great internet safety tips here.

Have a super week, and thanks for visiting Patti’s Pathways. 😀


 

DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.