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Your privacy is - or should - be very important to you. The more levels of intrusion and surveillance we allow from our governments, the more appetite we develop for protecting our personal privacy. Using social media and maintaining your required levels of privacy often seem like conflicting goals, but it is possible to maintain a social presence without having your movements, images and personal information shared all over the place. As well as maintaining your privacy, smart use of social media can also help your future career prospects. A 2013 study revealed that 92% of employers use social media to recruit and screen candidates during the hiring process. So if your profile is open and it's easy to see those pictures of you in, shall we say, 'a state,' you're doing yourself a disservice.
If you want to be able to use Facebook to keep up with events and avoid missing out on any exciting news, you can do that without giving publishing your identity online. Simply change your profile picture to something other than your grinning face. If you want, use something that your friends will recognise but that strangers (or stalkers) wont. A picture of a pet, an image from childhood or even a reference to an old nickname could all work. Then change your name. To do this, click the little arrow in the top right of the screen, click Settings and select Name. Then simply type in a new name, review changes and save. Once youve done this, you wont be able to change your name again for the next 60 days. so please double check it. And do keep in mind that Facebook has become super strict about what you can and cant have a name. They often demand proof and will shut down accounts that appear to be overtly fake. If youre going to use a pseudonym, dont use one that will trigger suspicions, like Jemmaroid Von Laalaa (now her real name, after a row with Facebook forced her to adopt her spoof moniker) did.
All of the above measures are fine until your friends start tagging you in images. This is the bane of many a Facebook users life, as the images often make it online without your permission or even knowledge. Theyre rarely flattering and the concerning thing is, they can very often lead to problems as they put you in specific places at specific times; quite annoying if you want to keep a low profile or avoid running into an ex or people youd rather keep at arms length. To partially mitigate this, change your settings so you get to approve all images before they are published to your profile. This wont stop the images going up, but it will keep them out of your photos. Go to Settings then Privacy and under Who can see my stuff? enable Timeline Review. And while youre in there, make sure the content you post is private too. Do this by clicking Friends, Close Friends or Only Me under Who can see my stuff? To test our your privacy settings, click View as and browse your profile. Image credit - Wiki Commons