Posted in The Wired Mom
August 19, 2010

Facebook Places : What it is, how you can opt out.

Facebook just released Facebook Places- a check-in service like FourSquare that’s built into Facebook. I admit, I haven’t looked too much into the features. But I do know that it’ll post where you’re at, allow you to see others people who are there- and for friends to post where you’re at.

As I mentioned in my last post, that’s just a little too much information to be sharing. While it hasn’t completely rolled out yet, Facebook has already enabled it. (You’d think they would have learned from the internet’s rage when they rolled out their last program where you’d have to opt-out, but no)

From any page, click on the Account drop down menu (located at the top right of your screen). Click on Privacy Settings. The first place you’ll want to start is the Customize settings link. As a sidenote, the minimum your settings should be at is Friends Only. I don’t know about you, but do you really want everyone in the world to know that you had a burrito for breakfast?

Now, to disable Facebook Places, you need to change a few settings. The first is under Things I Share and is called “Places I check in”. In the drop down menu, you can select who you want to see where you check in. Mine’s set to Only Me- but you can easily set up a friends list of trusted people if you do want to use it. Next up, and conveniently right below it- Include me in “People Here Now” after I check in. Simply uncheck the box.

Scroll down. Under Things others share, you’ll see Friends can check me in to Places. With the drop down menu, you can select enabled or disabled.

Scroll up and click on Back to Privacy. We have one more place to check out. Under Applications and Websites, click on Edit your settings. Now, click on Edit Settings for Info accessible through your friends. This will bring up a window filled with all the information that your friends have access to with applications. Uncheck Current City and Places I’ve visited – because really, why would an application or website need to know where you have been if you aren’t even the one using it?

There you have it- everything you need to do to keep people from broadcasting information you don’t want it to.

BONUS ROUND: Want to know how to make a friends list/group? It’s easy. On the main page, click on Friends. Then click on the button over the top right of the list of all your friends that’s called + Create a List. Just type in a name (ex “Best Friends” “Real Life Friends” “Trusted Inner Circle”) and start typing names and/or clicking. Once you’ve finished, click on Create List.

Then, anywhere in Facebook where you see the little lock, you can use that list- to lock down photo albums, statuses, application posts and yes, overall privacy settings.

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