PrivacyDefender: Easy Way to Control your Facebook Privacy Settings

My last article detailed Facebook’s new privacy settings. While these settings have simplified much of the privacy options available, there are still a number of settings that are so deeply buried that it is often difficult to find and change. Hence, I outlined four tools that assisted in unscrambling your privacy settings to ensure your information on Facebook was well protected. Not to be outdone, the popular online reputation manager “ReputationDefender”, is offering another third-party tool called PrivacyDefender to “easily” control your Facebook privacy settings. ReputationDefender is a paid application that provides numerous methods of protecting your online presence. PrivacyDefender is a Facebook-only offshoot.

To use this tool, navigate to the website, and click on the link to the Facebook page. Here you will have to grant this application access to your account.

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Next, drag the “PrivacyDefender” bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar and click on the bookmarklet to launch the application (it takes a few seconds to start).

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The application will now analyse your Facebook privacy settings.

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Once the application finishes analysing your settings you will see a colourful wheel illustrating what information you have shared with the world. If this infographic looks familiar, it may be because it is similar to “The Evolution of Privacy on Facebookinfographic.

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As you can see all my data is limited to only “Friends”. The other two layers of sharing available, include, “Friends of Friends” and “Everyone”. Along the outer edges of the circle you can see the different types of information that you can share.

To change how private you want your information to be, you can drag the slider along the bottom of the screen to your desired setting and then you must click on the on the green “Fix My Privacy!” button to set your privacy options.

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The most secure option available is the “My friends” setting. Using this option limits all your information to your “Friends”. This setting is so secure that your “Friends” are not even allowed to view your “Contact Info”. To obtain this setting simply move the grey slider to any portion of the bottom bar that is coloured green, then click on the green “Fix My Privacy!” button. It will take a few seconds (depending on your internet connection) to change your privacy settings.

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The next lowest setting is the “My Social Network” option. This option allows “Friends of Friends” to view much of your information. The principle here is that you want to expand your network, whilst ensuring that your data is protected. To change to this setting simply move the grey slider to the yellow portion of the line and click “Fix My Privacy!”.

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The final setting “Everyone but not everything” keeps some of your information open to the web. However, although this is the loosest privacy setting available, only your “Name”, “Profile Picture”, “Posts” and “Other Profile Info” will actually be visible to everyone. The remainder of your information stays private. This turns your Facebook into a more robust version of Twitter. Your posts and updates are shared with everyone, but your more personal information, such as photos and contact info, are still protected. Again simply drag the grey slider to a red portion of the bottom bar and click on “Fix My Privacy!”.

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Finally, if at any point you are unhappy with your settings, you can roll back to your original privacy settings by click on “Reset to current privacy settings”.

Which of the three options do you have your privacy set to?