Facebook has become one of the most visited Websites on the Internet. In earlier days we would go to a coffee shop or a fast food joint to meet and chat with our friends, now we visit Facebook for our social commune. Sharing personal information and literally our lives through Facebook has become such an important part in our routine! Does it ever strike our mind that we are risking our security by sharing our personal information?

The following are some of the factors that you should keep in mind while communicating through Facebook.

Password
Keep a password that cannot be guessed by the closest of your friends. Try and use a password with a mix of alphabets and numbers and special signs. Your dog’s name or your Spouse’s/lover’s name is easy to guess…so be creative and think of something else as your secret password.

Account Information

Is Facebook the ‘Yellow Pages’?? The obvious answer is NO…then why make your address and phone number visible to people? You don’t want everyone to visit your home, so why make it visible to everyone? Moreover, your bank accounts and lot of other private information can be fetched by giving your home address or phone number, so why make it public?

Customization

Most of the Facebook users do not customize their privacy settings. There is a whole range of privacy settings on Facebook which can be used to safeguard your information and also to choose the information to be visible outside your friend circle. Use the option to group your friends based on personal preferences. Create a Friend list in which you can just keep your friends/colleagues at office, another Friend list can be of your close friends etc. This allows you to view friends by ‘type’ and send messages to your list or restrict your messages to be viewed by a certain group. You can also apply specific privacy policies to them.

Hide Personal Information

If you want to display your birthday, just display the date and the month. It is important that your year of birth is hidden as your full date of birth can be used to hack your bank account and other personal information.

Don’t Advertise Your Life!

Most people like to update their status and display what’s happening in their lives. If you are not at home or on a vacation, it is not advisable to let your status message display this information. It’s like putting a ‘There’s no one at home’ sign! It sure would tempt scrupulous people to take advantage of this.

Restrict Users
Keep strangers at bay from accessing your profile, by using the Search section of Facebook’s privacy controls and selecting “Only Friends for Facebook” search results. Be sure the box for Public Search isn’t checked.

Facebook is a wonderful tool to share updates with our close friends. But it can also be a weak link in encouraging strangers to get an insight into your life. Use the above tips, keep secure and continue to enjoy this wonderful social networking site! Remember, be secure, and be safe!