Facebook prides itself on allowing you to share all kinds of information with your friends and family, and by default there many privacy features that are turned off that you might want to turn on once you realize what is at stake.

One of the biggest privacy features that I had to change right away is allowing my “friends” to check me in with “People here now”.  It seems absolutely crazy to allow other people to be able to check you in different places, especially considering that someone might check you into a place when you are somewhere else.   Allowing people to know where you are might seem like a fun way to connect with other people, but when you don’t have total control over this feature things can get messy.  Who knows why  Facebook has this on by default.

Another privacy setting I like to change is to make sure my email address and phone number are not publicly listed on my profile page.  This would allow anyone who visits my page to know my number and call me pretending we were best friends.  I don’t think so.  I would change this one right away if it currently is being shown to the world.

Probably the biggest hot button issue in terms of Facebook privacy as of late is the auto-tagging feature.  The social network is going to use facial recognition to automatically tag people in the photos that are uploaded and the default setting will automatically tag you in these photos.  If you don’t want to be auto-tagged you need to change your settings.

So what’s wrong with a little privacy invasion on Facebook?  The main problem is that people don’t even know how much of their information is out there and this personal data can carry with it some serious consequences.  And your friends are not the only ones who are using this information.  Studies have shown that employers are starting to use Facebook to do “background checks” on potential employees to make sure they are telling the truth.  And in a world where most people are trying to keep their personal life separate from work life, these new privacy issues are certainly going to be a game changer.

I have even heard of people getting fired from their jobs because they took a day off work because of an “illness” and were later tagged in a photo on Facebook at some party.  And with Facebook’s facial recognition technology these pictures may tag you automatically without your knowledge and without the person who uploaded the picture even having to tag you manually.  The feature of auto-tagging is currently on by default, so unless you change your privacy settings you may find many more of these pictures tagging you all over Facebook.

Check out the SEO Tools guide at Search Engine Journal.

Why You Should Change your Privacy Settings on Facebook