Greek Tech – Be a Facebook Ninja

You think your Facebook profile is on lock-down? You think nobody can see those pictures of you acting stupid because you set them to private? Guess what?

You’re probably wrong.

I’m not afraid to admit that when it comes to hiring students, selecting award recipients, choosing student leaders to manage programs, or even simply putting a face to a name, I will look you up on Facebook. This places me in the elite class of tech-savvy individuals such as your professors, campus administrators, your potential employers, and best of all, your mom and dad.

You probably know all of this already, but from my own experience, students are not keeping their exploits out of the public eye. Be it by ignorance or choice, that picture of you taking a keg stand, or blowing out a “mysterious” cloud of smoke can only do damage to you as a student and a professional.

In my brief career as a Fraternity and Sorority Advisor, I have been amazed with what fraternity and sorority members are unknowingly sharing via Facebook, especially in their pictures. What makes it even worse is when they have their fraternity/sorority splashed all over their profile, only to have pictures of themselves posted which would make their founders rise from their graves, zombie walk over to their chapter meeting, and claw the letters off of their chest.

Think I’m wrong?

Do me a favor right now:
Open up Facebook, click on ‘Account’ then ‘Profile Information’. Now click the ‘Preview my Profile’ button and enter in name of one of your Facebook friends who you’d be embarrassed if they saw some of your information, pictures and/or videos (think mom, work colleague, or that cute boy/girl you’ve been talking to).

Surprised? If that’s not enough, people who aren’t even your Facebook friends have access to your pictures and information.

How is this possible?

Back in December of 2009, Facebook rolled out a new privacy policy, which automatically defaulted your photos to be viewable by the public, made you searchable through search indexes (Google, Bing, etc.), and started to use your name and image in various advertisements.

So how do you become a Facebook ninja and only become visible to those who you trust? Well, depending on how many friends you have, this may take a while. But trust me, it’s well worth it, and once you get it in place, managing your information and privacy is simple.

SocialTimes came out with The Facebook Privacy Guide for clearing up your Facebook, and regaining your privacy. I suggest reading it, all of it. Regardless of how private you think your information is, there’s a good chance you’re missing something.

Here’s the basics:
– Create friends lists to control who sees what
– Remove yourself from search indexing
– Watch out for photos/videos other people tag you in
– Set privacy on every single one of your photo albums (including mobile uploads and profile pictures)
– Control who can see your wall posts and updates
– LOCK. IT. DOWN.

A little work now to become a Facebook ninja, will pay off in the long run. Safe profiles, and happy networking.

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