Q: I want to use Facebook and Twitter to interact with the youth in my program, but I’m concerned about the privacy settings, for my youth and myself. How do I set/change them?
A. I’d planned to write a long article with a bunch of screen shots, but then I came across an article that already covered the top 10 privacy settings you want to know about on Facebook and it includes screen shots and descriptions. I’ve read through it and in all honesty, for current Facebook users it’s a good resource. You can find it here.
When it comes to privacy concerns on Facebook the biggest piece of advice I can offer is this: Just because it’s on Facebook doesn’t make it real- check with the source: Facebook Help.
I regularly find my news feed full of panic stricken users concerned about Facebook’s changes causing privacy setting changes. The best thing you can do is go to Facebook Help and read for yourself. For example, this recently happened with the introduction of the Ticker.
The Ticker doesn’t share any more information than you allowed to be shared on your wall; it just showed it in real time for your friends, so they could see it more easily than going onto your wall to read about it. However, there were many of my Facebook friends (who I love and are very well meaning), and I’m sure yours too (maybe even you), who were very concerned that it was changing your privacy settings.
As with all things, go directly to the source. I searched ‘Ticker’ ‘Privacy’ in Facebook Help and found this answer right away. It’s OK to be concerned about your privacy online and that of your youth, but take the time (sometimes it’s a very quick fix) to educate your youth (and yourself) on how they can:
a) take control of their privacy settings, and
b) educate themselves on changes that Facebook is making and how it might affect them.
Twitter offers an easy-to-read article about protecting tweets, which is one of the main privacy controls on Twitter.
Question: How do you/can you educate your youth (and other youth workers) about social media privacy settings? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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