Facebook tightens the privacy of your updates

The default option for your first Facebook update will be to share with friends and not with the public at large.

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Facebook

Those of you who've ever accidentally shared a Facebook update with the entire world now have a better safety net in place.

As of Thursday, Facebook has changed the default audience for updates for new members. Instead of being shared with the entire public by default, updates will be shared only with friends. And just how does that work?

When you post an update on Facebook you can choose who you want to see it -- friends, only yourself, or the public. And by public, Facebook means a lot of people, specifically "people who are not your friends, people off of Facebook, and people who view content through different media (new and old alike) such as print, broadcast (television, etc.) and other sites on the Internet."

The new default setting applies to new people who join Facebook. But any member can switch the default setting for all updates and choose a specific audience for each update individually. Facebook users can also change the audience for any of their prior updates.

"First time posters will also see a reminder to choose an audience for their first post, and if they don't make a choice, it will be set to Friends," the social network explained on Thursday.

To protect you further, Facebook announced a new privacy checkup tool. Scheduled to roll out over the next few weeks, this new tool will help you review key settings, such as who can see your updates and which Facebook apps you use.

Facebook's move is certainly good news for any member who ever shared the wrong thing with the wrong crowd.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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