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The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy

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The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy

It is not easy to stay up to date on the latest Facebook Privacy settings and policies. Here is a quick review of the basics to get you started. The most important item to remember is that nothing is truly private. There are definitely some things that you can do to limit what is shared or filter what is shared with whom, but ultimately, if you are posting, sharing, or liking, it is information that is available. I believe that you should always approach Facebook, and really all social media in general, with the intention of only sharing information that you would want your customers or clients to read. If you do not have a business focus, then only share information that your mother or kids could read.

The Basics – Who Can See What?

There are several options with regards to who you can share your info with: you can set this as default in your privacy settings or you can set it on individual updates.  The individual update will override the default settings.

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  • Public – Yes, this means everyone.
  • Friends & Friends + – This is your friends, but your friends can choose to share with their friends, so it includes all of your friends and all of your friends’ friends.
  • Only me – Correct, only you can see it.
  • Custom – You can choose: select specific friends, networks, and lists.

You are completely in control of what you are sharing.  As I mentioned before, if you don’t want it public, don’t put it on Facebook.

Your Profile Settings: What Shows Up Under “About Me”

The long and the short of it is that you can set each item in your profile to have it’s own level of privacy.

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You can click the privacy icon on the left of each field to edit who can see that item. For example, if you are not interesting in everyone on Facebook know where you live, you can just click the drop-down menu to the right of the “Current City” box and choose who can see this information. You can make it public, visible to friends only, visible to you only, or like above, you can hit “custom” to make a more refined privacy decision.

It is worth taking the time to review all of the information that is available in your profile and making the decision for each.

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Two-Factor Authentication to Keep Others from Logging Into Your Account

I highly recommend setting up the Two-Factor Authentication.  This means you need to have a Facebook code and your password to log into the account.   Once your computer is set up, you do not need this again. But each time your Facebook account is logged into from a new computer or mobile device, you need the Facebook code.  The code is sent to your phone via text or your email.   You can set this up by going to your Account settings >> Security >> Login Approvals.   I suggest taking a look at the other options there as well.

Strong Passwords

Sometimes the simplest answer are the best ones. Use strong passwords; this is a combination of upper and lower case letters as well as numbers and/or special characters.  Don’t make your password something easily guessed like your kid’s or dog’s name.  Really think outside the box on this.  I like to make it easy to type as well — this will help you remember it in 2 days. :-)

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I would also always recommend that you log off of Facebook when you are not sitting at the computer, or if you have computer set up for it, lock your computer whenever you leave.

Educate Yourself

Take the time to read and understand the privacy policy.  Stay in tune to the changes that are always happening, and understand how all the different functions within Facebook work.  Read exactly what it is you are authorizing a website or an application to access and share.  One of the best things about Facebook is the ability to custom your experience, as well as your friends experience.  Definitely do this; you will make it much more fun and enjoyable for you and your friends… and you will get yourself safe and secure.

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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