Tech Talk – How to keep Facebook private |

Tech Talk – How to keep Facebook private

Ernie Dambach
Special to the Sierra Sun
Facebook is a great way to connect and share, but some people will want to take precautions to keep their private lives private before signing on.

I just joined Facebook and I’m having a great time connecting with people. But here’s the rub: I’m also a teacher and I’m not sure I want my 13-year-old students nosing around my site, tracking my personal activities, etc. I don’t want my information to show up in search results on Facebook. How do I turn off my public visibility?


Fretting Over Facebook

There are many reasons why individuals don’t want their information to show up in Facebook search results and being a schoolteacher probably tops the list!

Luckily, it’s a pretty simple process. First visit your search privacy settings page. Under “Search Visibility” select “Only Friends.” One caveat, doing so will remove you from Facebook search results, so make sure you want to be removed totally. Otherwise you can select another group, such as “My Networks and Friends.” Seal the deal by clicking “Save Changes.”

You can also select similar privacy selections for your posted photos. A VERY important one to consider making more private is “tagged photos” since these are often embarrassing and posted without prior notification. For further customization, you can make a group of friends, in the friends menu, and then select “custom” as your visibility choice, and choose only a select group of friends to see parts of your profile. The more selective you are, the more work it is to maintain, but as a teacher, your public persona is worth the effort.

By default, Facebook makes your presence visible to the network universe you are orbiting in. Often people aren’t aware of their visibility so this is one of the first settings that users want to modify. Fine tune things by selecting “Customize” from the search visibility drop down.

Auction fraud is rampant on eBay so think before you click. Fake and stolen merchandise are common on eBay and a Certificate of Authenticity doesn’t really mean much. Even the site’s Scam Watch admits as much: “If a seller is willing to misrepresent a fake item as real then what is the big deal of throwing in an authentic looking certificate?” The shill scam is another common scenario that people need to be wise about. Basically, a seller who wants to drive up the price on his auction may bid himself or have his friends bid, just to make you pay more. If you spot a repeat bidder on the seller’s auction history, something’s probably rotten in Denmark. Another tip — which warrants repeating – never wire money directly to a seller as it’s almost impossible to retrieve the money if your purchase isn’t delivered.

” Truckee-Tahoe resident Ernie Dambach is a self-admitted computer geek who enjoys helping others navigate their way through the digital world. His computer and networking company Tahoe Tech Group serves small and medium businesses, as well as the home computer user. Log onto, or call (530) 550-0999.

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