Plugged In: Protecting your Facebook page

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Plugged In: Protecting your Facebook page

Morgan Kinney, Columnist

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Oh, blessed Facebook. You and your social media companions are a great way to botch relationships and ruin job prospects.

Someone always finds that picture of you at a frat party where you were totally destroying the competition in flip cup or that one time you wore a T-shirt with a less-than-wholesome saying emblazoned across the chest. You know, the things you probably should not have been doing in the first place.

We have this uniquely millennial problem where the tools we use to share sometimes share too much. It is one part users failing to filter their own content and another part others posting incriminating content unbeknownst to the user involved. The only solution is to try to stop the problem before it gets posted, and there are numerous ways to accomplish this.

Obviously, the best solution is to remove yourself from compromising situations, but that is perhaps a bit unrealistic. Instead, we must resort to some nitty-gritty privacy settings which most people are unaware of.

On Facebook’s website, click on the privacy icon, which can be found directly adjacent to your name. Then click on “See More Settings.” Here is where the magic happens.

The privacy settings are intuitively organized in terms of questions you may ask. For instance, the first question is “Who can see my stuff?” The answer to this should be “Friends.” Make sure you also “Limit The Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline.” This ensures that old, old posts that may somehow be viewable to the public are no longer public. In general, this should solve most of the issues stemming from your past.

Under “Who can look me up?”, I advise that you disable the “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?” The harder you make it for nosy people to find your secrets, the less they will find.

But these measures only serve to disguise your heinous past, not the inevitable future. The best defense on that front is Facebook’s handy new “Timeline Review.” Clicking on your profile, there is a button labeled “Activity Log” on the bottom right corner of your cover photo. Diving into your activity log, along the left column, you should see a sub-menu labeled “Timeline Review.” With this enabled, every picture and post will require your approval before it lands on your profile.

It is a burdensome solution, but it really is the best defense against spoiling your outwardly sterling reputation. With a little due diligence, you can prevent a regrettable moment from becoming a life-altering error.

Email: morgankinney2017@u.northwestern.edu

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