Top tips for using Facebook!

Roger Thompson - Chief Research Officer, AVG

We recently blogged about the current hot topic of Facebook privacy rules and included a summary of an article we read by Roger Thompson, Chief Research Officer of AVG.  Last week, Facebook introduced new privacy controls following complaints about the complexity of the old controls.

We managed to get hold of Roger to discuss his piece in more detail and he kindly shared his top tips on staying safe while socialising via Facebook – all of which are still very relevant even with the new privacy controls:

  • Think about who you add – It’s not all about numbers of friends. Remember when you accept a friend request you provide your new friend with access to lots of information about you. This includes, posts, photographs, messages and all the background information that you write about yourself.  You can delete friends at any time so perhaps it’s time to refresh your list and think about who you really want accessing your information.
  • Check your settings – Facebook has done a pretty good job at letting you limit how much people can see. So it’s worth spending some time to go through this and adjust where necessary. You even have the option to add ‘limited profiles’ for those people that you may not want accessing your personal information. It’s up to you how you want to use these settings so it’s definitely worth having a look to create a profile that’s right for you! 
  • Why are you on Facebook? – Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your profile. Is it just to share photos, or keep in touch with people, or even to share links and updates of your activities? Sometimes it’s better to cut down what you show on your profile, this includes signing up to applications which also take a lot of your data.  You can always add or remove options as you go. So if your needs change, so should your profile.
  • Be smart about your password  – Try not to use the same passwords on all of your accounts. It’s also important to be mindful of where you are sending your updates and the types of security questions you set.
  • Be aware of where you sign in from  – Check that the computer that you sign in from doesn’t store your email address and password. It seems simple but often it’s easy to accidently choose it to ‘remember you’. Make sure you have the appropriate privacy settings on your browser.

With the increased risk of hackers and viruses attacking Facebook users, these tips are well worth keeping in mind, we hope you find them helpful!


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