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Facebook to offer its 1.28 billion users a privacy check-up

As well as reviewing users’ privacy settings, status updates from new users will be set to ‘friends’ instead of ‘public’ automatically.

Facebook's privacy settings even have its own (as yet unnamed) dinosaur mascot, should that help convince you to change your settings.
Facebook's privacy settings even have its own (as yet unnamed) dinosaur mascot, should that help convince you to change your settings.

FACEBOOK WILL BE placing a greater focus on users’ privacy settings after the site announced a new set of features designed to show who you’re posting to and what permissions apps have.

Over the next few weeks, the site will be rolling out what it describes as a “new and expanded privacy checkup tool” allowing users to change the privacy settings, control what apps they use and how much information from their profile is on view to the public.

Those who sign up to Facebook for the first time will have their settings set to friends instead of public automatically and will get a reminder to choose an audience for their first post.

In a statement, Facebook said “we recognize that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse.”

Other privacy settings include anonymous login, a feature which was announced during Facebook’s developer conference f8 and allows users to access apps anonymously, a more visual audience selector on mobile, and reminders to show who will see their post before they publish it

The site is also introducing a redesigned app dashboard, allowing users to control the apps they use, manage permissions, or remove them entirely.

making-it-easier-to-share-with-who-you-want_2 Source: Facebook Newsroom

Facebook made public posting the default in 2009 in a bid to make as much of the site as public as possible, putting it in competition with Twitter.

It also allowed users to follow certain individuals through the subscribe button – later changed to follow – to help turn it into a public platform, but this move provides greater transparency as to how much personal information you’re sharing.

Read: Facebook adds audio-recognition to its app to help identify songs and TV shows >

Read: Microsoft introduces Surface Pro 3 as ‘the tablet that will replace your laptop’ >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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