What parents need to know about Facebook security changes for their children… and themselves.
You might notice that now a few of your privacy settings are housed under one area called Privacy Shortcuts. But you may not see the changes on your profile yet — Facebook said it will be rolling this out through the end of this year.
Nicky Jackson Colaco, manager of privacy and safety at Facebook, tells Mashable these settings haven’t been changed so much as moved, and one setting has been enhanced. The goal was to make it easier for users to access, and be aware of, their privacy while on Facebook.
“The idea is that privacy follows you,” she says.
Right now to see your privacy settings, you navigate to the top right corner and click on the drop-down menu to select “privacy settings.” Soon, a shortcut menu located in your toolbar, under a lock icon, will let you see all your privacy settings in one place. You’ll still be able to access your privacy settings from the drop-down menu.
The one setting that’s changed is a feature called, “Who can look up my timeline by name.” Only a small number of users have this, like people who joined Facebook eight years ago (and early on) when it was a website for college students and searching by name was the only way to find someone. Now, Colaco says, it gives people a false sense of security because there are many ways to find people on Facebook these days. Users with this feature will be notified that it’s shutting down.
The updated Activity Log, which shows you all your activities on Facebook, will now let you go through all of the pictures on Facebook in which you’re tagged that are set to public.
“It’s critical for parents to understand — even if someone decides to hide something in their timeline, that photo might still be available somewhere on Facebook,” she says. “There’s a difference between what can be found on your timeline and what’s on Facebook.”
With a new feature called the “report and remove tool,” users can select multiple photos to be untagged. You can also generate a pre-populated message asking that users delete the photo — the messages can be sent in bulk, too. Colaco says most users are amenable to taking down photos but, if the message doesn’t work, you can report the photo to Facebook.
The message feature could be especially useful to teens who might want a photo removed, but don’t want to write the message.
However, just because you’re untagged in a photo, and sometimes even if it’s deleted by the user, that doesn’t mean it’s gone from the Interwebs. But at least when someone untags you in a Facebook photo, users won’t see it if they search for your name.
Common Sense Media CEO Jim Steyer tells Mashable, it’s important for parents to talk to their teens about how they use Facebook or any social network.
Steyer provides these tips for parents:
- Think before you post, because it’s hard to take it down.
- Remember that “friending” someone connects you to that person, but also to her friends, and her friends’ friends. Facebook has an incentive to increase connections between users on their service, and you need to discuss how connected your 13-year-old should be.
Do you talk to your kids about Facebook updates and changes? Tell us in the comments.