facebook safety

The ABC’s of Facebook Safety

June 12, 2015 0 Comments

Facebook Safety

Today we’re talking about OPSEC. Again.

I know we already covered OPSEC in a different blog post but this one is specifically geared to Facebook. I’m not going to pretend to know a ton about different avenues of social media. I don’t use Twitter for anything but my blog links. I don’t use snapchat, Instagram or any other weirdness either. First, it’s hard enough to keep up with Facebook. Second, I can’t guarantee that my info/pictures are safe on more than one social media site. It’s just too complicated. I quit using Instagram because they changed their privacy setting where as soon as I posted a photo, I no longer had rights to it. This means that if I posted a picture of my child, they could also use it and do whatever they wanted to with it. No one needs access to my child’s pictures without going through me first.

So today we’re talking about Facebook because it’s the most popular, the most misunderstood and the easiest to get the security settings wrong! My husband, who virtually never uses facebook, knows a lot of the intricacies of the sites privacy settings and knows even more on OPSEC/PERSEC.
Facebook Notes:
Do people even read notes on Facebook anymore? I mean seriously, this is what blogs are for! If you have notes that you want to delete go to your profile page. Click on the MORE pull down tab, then click on notes. This will take you to all the notes that you’ve written OR have been tagged in.
facebook safety


First, to delete a note that you’ve written clock on the note’s title, this will take you to a page that will say “edit” in the top right corner. Click edit, scroll to the bottom and click delete. It’s as simple as that!
For your friends Notes that you’ve been tagged in it’s more complicated. After spending a solid 30 minutes on facebook and contacting the nerds of Facebook themselves, there’s NO way to untag yourself from a friend’s Note OTHER THAN messaging them directly and asking them too. Yeah, giant pain in the butt. Guess what I’m this evening? Bothering people about notes from 8+years ago that they probably have no idea still exist! Awesome.
facebook safety


This is super annoying, but it’s worth your security and safety. Blogs are so much safer because you can have a certain level of anonymity that you can’t with a Facebook note.
This was a tough one for me. When our son was first born I had an android phone and pretty sure that all my pics had to go through my computer to get to facebook so I had copies of everything. With the iPhone making it so easy I had no idea what pictures I had copies of and what I would love forever if I just randomly deleted an album.
If you know anything about facebook then you know how to delete pictures, but I’ll give you a brief overview just in case. Even if your page is locked to where only friends can see your pictures you have to ask yourself some questions.
1. Who are my friends on facebook?

2. Do they need to see this photo?

3. Can anyone of my friends use this photo to hurt me or my family? (think of posting your house address or license plates on facebook for all to see.) 

4. Is this a picture that I should send to someone via text instead?
This process has taken me days. DAYS! Not all pictures have incriminating things in the background (like street signs, town signs, business signs in the background) so I’m basically having to go through each individual picture and either keep it or delete it. So far I’ve deleted about 5 albums to stupid stuff and edited 4 other albums. This is not something that you can get done in an hour: fair warning!
To delete an individual picture, click on the album title. There will be a little pencil icon in the top right corner. Click on the pencil and at the bottom will be an option to delete the photo.
facebook safety
To delete an album it’s very similar. Click on the album title and up in the top right corner you’ll see a cog wheel icon. Click on that and it’ll give you the option to delete the album.
facebook safety
Another issue that I have with iPhones and facebook is the location services. It’s a darned if you do and darned if you don’t type of issue. If you turn the location services ALL THE WAY OFF your smartphone is stupid and doesn’t have GPS capability, weather, or useful things like that. BUT, if the location services are ALL THE WAY ON it tracks your frequent locations, where you took your pictures and embeds that info into your pictures on facebook for others to find and the apps you have all have a record of where you are. This bothers me. Why does my calculator need to know where I’ve spent my last four days? Why does it need to know where my friend’s house is? Or my house? Or my family’s house?! Simply stated: IT DOESN’T!
This website will tell you more on how to keep your location services private. For those iPhone users, I know that you can go to SETTINGS>PRIVACY> LOCATION SERVICES. I have gone in there and edited which APPS deserve to have my location setting on and which don’t. Currently, my weather, maps and my storm shield app are the only ones. You have a few settings that you can pick with each app: NEVER, ALWAYS, WHILE USING. My storm shield is the ONLY app that has my location services on 24/7 because when we get tornado warnings or watches it notifies me in the most annoying tone. Everything else doesn’t need it on all the time.

To Turn off your phone tracking all your whereabouts to go SETTINGS>PRIVACY> LOCATION SERVICES> SYSTEM SERVICES> FREQUENT LOCATIONS. TURN THIS OFF. Your stinking phone doesn’t need to know where you go on a daily basis.

Check out this Youtube Video about Location Services and frequently visited locations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xupAwwktonQ

One last thing to think about with posting photos. If you’re going to post photo’s take these questions into considerations first please:

1. What’s in the background? Can you see your house number? Is there a street sign? Can you see your vehicle and license plates? With all of that information, people can find where you live. EASILY.

2. Do you have the verbal consent to post this picture if something else is in there? I always mention “hey I’m going to post this on facebook.” To those friends or family that happen to be in the picture. This tells them that I’m going to post this to social media. I’ve rarely had anyone tell me that they don’t want it done, but I always let them know what I’ll be doing with pictures of them or their children when social media is involved.
3. Do people in facebook world REALLY need to see this picture? I mean really. Is it something that awesome? I’m guilty of this also. We want the likes, we want facebook world to see us in a positive light but in all reality does anyone really care to see 17 pictures a day of our kids?!…. NO.
I want you to take a good hard look at the people on your facebook page. How well do you know them? Would you walk up to them at work and show them the information on your facebook on purpose? Would you walk up to them at the grocery store and show them the latest picture of your child in the bathtub? Would you call ALL of those people and tell them where you’re spending the day? If you answered NO to any of these questions you probably don’t need to be friends with them. They might get bent out of shape over it, but your family’s safety is more important than someone’s annoyance that you deleted them on facebook. If you wouldn’t text them the status you’re about to post or walk up to them at Wal-Mart and show them the picture you’re about to post, then chances are they don’t need to be on your friend on Facebook. 
First off, you need to check these often. At the top of your facebook screen click the arrow that points downwards.
facebook safety
I love this meme. It’s funny and gives me a giggle, but there’s a spark of truth to this also. Your phone is capable of SO MUCH. I don’t want to be chicken little, but next time you’re typing a text, hit the microphone button on your iPhone. See the little notification that pops up? Everything you say into your phone for the “talk-to-text” option gets sent to the Apple mother ship and they sift through your data, what you say, your contacts, location etc. Why you ask? They’ll say that it’s for future consumerism… but let’s be realistic: they want to spy on you. 
facebook safety
OK, back to facebook! The little pointy down arrow will take you to all the account settings. The general account settings are pretty simple to figure out. It’s recommended that you change your password once a quarter. Next on this list, click on the security settings.
facebook safety
facebook safety
I would make these options/settings as strict as possible. For the login alert for example. If I sign into facebook on iPhone Safari (and don’t use the facebook app) I get notified and I have to use a code that the code generator options. I would highly recommend blocking the apps that facebook uses. This includes Instagram, Pinterest etc. I would also regularly check the “where you’re logged in” section. You’ll be amazed at how many different sessions you have open and where these sessions are located. I just found that I had a session open for some random place in New Jersey. Let me make it clear that I haven’t been to New Jersey in over 15 years.
facebook safety
To stop this, just click “end activity”. Easy as that, but you need to check this often and change your facebook password OFTEN. I would HIGHLY recommend that if you see some random person who has signed into your account to first, boot them off and second, change your password. 
The Next setting is Privacy. This one is possibly the most important. You can see the settings that I have mine set on. This provides the strictest filters for those people who aren’t my friends. Basically, this means that some random person that types in my name into facebook might find the fact that I have a profile but they won’t be able to see anything on it. This is what safety looks like; a completely locked down facebook page.
facebook safety
The next section is Timeline and Tagging Settings. This allows you to proof read everything that people tag you in. This comes in handy for a multitude of reasons. My favorite reason is this: we all have that one friend or family member that tags you in every meme or article they find. On top of that it’s always the stupidest things like a sleeping cat or a meme about how challenging kids are that really isn’t all that funny.
facebook safety
The last thing on the list of settings is BLOCKING! This part is actually my favorite. I LOVE blocking people. It takes care of any problems or issues with a simple click. Sometimes people don’t need to be in your life. That’s the plain, old, honest truth right there. Not everyone deserves to be in your life. You have the power to take those toxic people out of your life in this one little aspect. Have some respect for yourself and quit caring what they’re going to think about you.
facebook safety
Blocking is easy. You can type in a “friends” name on this screen or you can go directly to their profile and click the three dots on the right-hand side of their cover photo and a drop down menu will appear. Simply click “block” and you’re done.
I could go on and on about all the crazy that facebook does and doesn’t allow you to do, but I’ll stop with the information above. Ideally the best option for you to keep your information safe is to delete your facebook account. It’s a guarantee that no one will see your info. However, if you’re like me you like having a social outlet that you can connect too. The majority of my family doesn’t live anywhere close to me and it’s a fantastic way to connect with them, swap your children’s pictures and keep up with each other. My husband and I also run a business and the majority of the marketing we do is through Facebook. Obviously, we keep our private pages separate from our business pages for this reason, but without facebook, we would not have many of the customers that we do.
I urge you to read this information, and then re-read it. I also urge you to implement most, if not all, of this information so you can keep your information safe! You never know what a malicious person can do with your information, especially the information of your children. After all, what’s more, important than the safety and security of your children?



Nila Rhoades