Advanced Facebook privacy and security tips

Advanced Facebook privacy and security tips by Matt Hanson, Nate Drake. Available from <> [Nov 30, 2016, 05.25 PM IST] 

Facebook mines your personal data. Huge amounts of it. This is easy to do as people are now spending an average of an hour on day on the site sharing personal photos, having private conversations and playing popular games such as Candy Crush Saga.

However, Facebook contains powerful tools to prevent your data being mined by third parties or from unauthorised people seeing your photos and private messages, however most people do not make use of the built-in privacy tools.

We will show you how to secure your Facebook account as well as some best practices to prevent any breach of your privacy.

When you log in to your Facebook account from a shared or public PC, don’t tick ‘Keep me logged in’.

You’re also asked if you want to save the browser – click ‘Yes’ if you use the PC often, or ‘No’ if not – so you’re alerted if someone uses the PC to log into your account.

Facebook has made a number of recent changes to make its privacy settings easy to access. To view them, click the padlock on the top-right and a drop-down list of the most popular privacy settings is displayed.

You can also click ‘See More Settings’ for more privacy tools.

Go to Settings > Privacy on the desktop version of Facebook or choose “Privacy Shortcuts” from your mobile Facebook app.

Under “Who can see my stuff” you can change the audience for future posts e.g Friends Only. You can also limit the visibility of past posts to make sure only your confirmed friends can see them.

Under “Who can look me up?” change the settings for your e-mail and address and phone number to “Friends” to make sure only people you know can find your Facebook account by searching your e-mail address or phone number.

Finally choose “No” for the search engines option.

Now it’s time to check how much information you’re sharing – and with whom. Click the down arrow next to ‘Who can see my stuff ?’ and where it says ‘What do other people see on my Timeline?’ click ‘View As’.

Initially you’ll see what your profile looks like to people you don’t know. Scroll through your timeline and hide life events/photos if necessary by clicking on the edit tab at the top right.

By default information like your friends list is publicly available. On the desktop version of your website, go to your profile and click the edit tab at the top right to change privacy settings.

Change your friends list visibility to “Only Me” or “Friends only”. Do the same for other information like books, movies and so on.

Following on from the previous step, click “Edit” next to the “Who can add things to my Timeline?” to review what friends post on your timeline before it appears.

In the “Who can see things on my Timeline?” section you can control who sees posts you’ve been tagged in on your timeline. By default this is “Friends of Friends” but you can change this to “Friends Only”.

Finally in “How can I manage tags people add and tagging suggestions?” change the first setting to “On” to approve tags made by others to posts on your own timeline.

You don’t want strangers seeing all of your information. From the privacy menu, expand ‘Who can contact me?’ then under ‘Who can send me friend requests?’ you can choose only ‘Friends of Friends’ – people your friends know – to be able to send you a friend request.

From the privacy menu click ‘More Settings’, and next to where it says ‘Who can look you up using the email address you provided’ and ‘Who can look you up using the phone number you provided’ click ‘Edit’ and select ‘Friends’ or ‘Friends of Friends’ for both.

These settings won’t do much if people can type your name into Google and find your profile. From the same screen in step 7, where it says ‘Do you want other search engines to link to your Timeline’, click ‘Edit’ and uncheck ‘Let other search engines link to your Timeline’.

Facebook allows you to block other users as well as messages. People who are blocked cannot interact with you in any way, they will not see your timeline, cannot invite you to events, or message you.

Be warned this will not block them interacting with you if you both have the same game installed e.g Farmville.

The easiest way to block someone is to visit their profile, click the … button and choose “Block”. You can review who you have blocked and unblock them if you want by going to Settings > Blocking. If you unblock someone you cannot re-block them for 48 hours.

When on Facebook, look at the address bar of your web browser. If it says ‘https://’ you’re secure, but if it says ‘http://’, go to the ‘More Settings’ screen, click ‘Security’ on the left and next to ‘Secure browsing’ click ‘Edit’, then check the box to enable secure browsing.

Go to Account Settings > Security on either the mobile or desktop version of Facebook. Click “Login Alerts” and tick to choose whether to receive a Facebook notification or e-mail to your registered address. You will now receive an alert whenever someone logs into your account from a new location.

You can increase your security even further by also enabling “Login Approvals”. All first time logins from new locations or devices will now need to be confirmed with a code from your mobile version of Facebook or via SMS. Click “Code Generator” from within the mobile app for new codes.

You can get Facebook to send a login approval to your phone. When you approve it, you can use Facebook.

This can help prevent people using your Facebook account. Enable this by clicking ‘Edit’ next to ‘Use your phone as an extra layer of security’ in the Settings page.

If you’re worried you’re logged in somewhere you don’t want to be, such as a public PC, or are concerned someone else is logging in as you, click ‘Edit’ next to ‘Where you’re logged in’.

You’ll see where you’re logged in, and you can remotely log out by clicking ‘End activity’.

Lots of websites and apps let you sign up using your Facebook account. This often means the makers of these apps have access to your friends’ details, your details and can post things on Facebook as you, unless you don’t let them.

Always check what access they want.

If you play games like Farmville or Candy Crush Saga on the desktop version of Facebook, choose Settings > Apps.

Click the edit button next to each app to see what information you provide. Uncheck the blue tick next to each piece of information to remove it e.g your e-mail address.

Try to avoid adding friends on Facebook just for the sake of playing games with them. Although it’s technically a breach of Facebook Terms and Conditions, some users have a separate account just for playing games, so no personal information is shared with their real account.

There’s a number of scams on Facebook. A popular one presents itself as a shocking video that one of your friends has posted about.

Clicking the video allows the makers to post the ‘video’ on your behalf without your permission, compromising your account’s security.

If your account is ever hacked and the password changed, you can regain access by setting up 3-5 trusted contacts. These are people on your Facebook friends list who will each receive a security code. You can enter these codes to regain access to your account.

To set up Trusted Contacts on Facebook mobile go to Privacy Shortcuts > More Settings > Security < Trusted Contacts. On the desktop version choose Settings > Security > Your Trusted Contacts > Edit > Choose Trusted Contacts.

Enter the names of your trusted friends. They will receive a notification stating that you have added them as a Trusted Contact.

You may want to share some content with Facebook friends and not with others e.g your colleagues. To change what individual friends can see click the “Friends” icon on Facebook Mobile, or the “Friends” icon on the “Friends” tab on Facebook desktop, then “Add to Another List”.

Acquaintances by default can see everything you post but moving forward you can change the visibility for individual posts to “Friends except Acquaintances.” The “Restricted” setting is also extremely useful. Anyone in our “Restricted” list will remain Facebook friends with you but will only see posts you choose to make public.

Choose “New List” for specific groups e.g your swim team.

By default new posts on Facebook Mobile, your current location will be displayed. Disable this by clicking Privacy Shortcuts > More Settings > Location > Turn off Location Settings.

Mobile devices can usually also disable Location Services for the Facebook app from within the device settings, check with your manufacturer for more information.

If you don’t want anyone to know where you are including Facebook, consider using Facebook’s anonymous address. To use this you will need a tor-enabled browser.

Android users can use OrFox while desktop users can use the Tor Browser Bundle.

Now you’ve followed these steps, you can breathe a sigh of relief – your Facebook account is as secure as possible.

Make sure you pay attention to any notices telling you someone has logged in to your account – if you don’t recognise the device, change your password!

Advanced Facebook privacy and security tips by Matt Hanson, Nate Drake. Available from <> [Nov 30, 2016, 05.25 PM IST] 

The Importance of Placing Instagram in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

The Importance of Placing Instagram in Your Digital Marketing Strategy by Diogo Costa.  Available from <> [November 20, 2016; 12:45 pm]

Since 2010, Instagram has done nothing but grow. Today, there are more than five hundred million users in this social network, which focuses primarily on images and can be accessed from mobile devices and computers alike. But Instagram is actually much more than just a collection of beautifully taken photos – it can be essential to a digital marketing strategy.

Insightful entrepreneurs have already realized the power and the impact that this social network can have on their sales and exposure. Instagram is no longer just a place to follow your friends, as users also follow brands, companies, bloggers, institutions, and magazines, among others. Thus, Instagram has become an excellent platform to promote products and services.

Instagram Tips

There are several tips that will help you take advantage of Instagram in your digital marketing strategy. The first is that, if you lack the time to take care of this, do not skip it – Instagram can be quite important these days so, if you or your company cannot deal with it, leave it in the hands of someone who has experience in the field.

Vibbi is a company specialized and focused in Instagram-related marketing and strategies, offering many services and tools to improve that part of your business. Their service is established in three main basis: promoting your brand, backing up your content, and keeping you up with Instagram’s latest news and trends. Vibbi is then a safe bet to help with your Instagram strategy, if you cannot handle it.

New Content Is a Necessity

Other than this service, there are additional tips that anyone can apply. It is important to publish new content regularly, but without “over-posting.” The quality of the photos is important, just like it’s important to diversify the content and be creative. Publishing your products is key, but keep some variation by publishing about other subjects related to your business field, for example.

Another important aspect is to get as close as possible from the public target and followers. Hashtags are quite important for this, as they help you find users interested in your field, which can be used to create your following. After this, you should keep followers engaged, and a good move for this is to inspire them. For example, if your field is fitness, then photos of athletes in action are a great option.

Engage Your Followers

Communication with your followers is also essential, so leave comments on their photos, reply to their questions and doubts, and be sure to mark partners, such as suppliers, clients, and collaborators on your photos. Last but not least, sales and discounts are also quite popular with clients, so do not keep those on a drawer.

Social networks are extremely useful for companies to build an intimate relationship with their customers and want to show a more human side to the general public. Instagram is the prime example of that. Whether using the services of a specialized company or doing it yourself, Instagram can be essential for your digital marketing strategy, so really do not skip the opportunity.

The Importance of Placing Instagram in Your Digital Marketing Strategy by Diogo Costa.  Available from <> [November 20, 2016; 12:45 pm]

Why your company needs a social media policy

Why your company needs a social media policy by .  Available from <> [November 2, 2016, 4:00 AM PST]

Only 51% of employees report that their workplace has rules about social media use at work, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey—which means half of the workforce is potentially at risk for litigation and security breaches.

A social media policy is just as necessary for companies as discrimination, leave, and vacation policies, said Daniel Handman, a labor and employment litigator and a partner at Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP. Legal problems can arise for businesses if employees say something negative about the company, reveal confidential information, or say something positive about the company without disclosing their affiliation, he said.

“The most important issue is when an employee says something negative, which has been the subject of a tremendous amount of litigation,” Handman said.

The largest government player in social media law is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The National Labor Relations Act, passed in 1935, allows all employees the right to engage in “concerted activities” for the “mutual aid and protection” of coworkers, which the board extends to social media activities. Therefore, any policy that prevents employers from their right to express such concerns would be considered invalid.

“If you work at McDonald’s and say, ‘The hamburgers are terrible,’ that’s not protected,” Handman said. “But if you say, ‘I’m getting lousy tips because the kitchen sucks,’ that is protected,” because it relates to a working condition that impacts coworkers, he said.

Risks and benefits

Seven out of 10 employees use social media at work, according to a recent report from Bambu by Sprout Social. Half of employees report using social media for up to an hour per day at work.

Full-time and part-time employees reported going on social media for a number of personal and professional reasons, the first of which were to take a mental break from their job (34%), and to connect with family and friends (27%), according to the Pew Research Center survey. But many also used social media to make or support professional connections (24%), get information to solve problems at work (20%), and build relationships with coworkers (17%).

While having an official social media presence can enhance an organization’s communication, recruitment, research, and client base, using social media at work for either professional or personal involves the following risks, according to SHRM:

  • The possibility for hackers to commit fraud and launch spam and virus attacks.
  • The risk of people falling prey to online scams that seem genuine, resulting in data or identity theft or a compromise of the company’s computer security.
  • A potential outlet for negative comments from employees about the organization.
  • Legal consequences if employees use these sites to view or distribute objectionable, illicit or offensive material.

In a recent survey report from Smarsh, nearly half of respondents cited social media as the communication channel with the highest level of compliance risk.

“Concerns about electronic communications policies, policy enforcement, and retention gaps remain high, indicating many firms are vulnerable to undetected fraud, errors, and potential regulatory enforcement penalties,” the report stated. Less than half of respondents said that they are mostly or completely confident that their current strategies will identify risks for the organization, the report stated.

Some experts also blame social media on falling workplace productivity. But these platforms are not the root cause, according to Aliah Wright, a social media expert at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and author of A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites.

“Companies need to treat the people they hire like adults,” Wright said. “You trust them to do the job you hired them to do. If their productivity slacks off, that’s a productivity issue, not a social media issue. If people are always at the coffee maker, you don’t get rid of the kitchen. Social media is not the problem—the problem is with time management, which can be corrected.”

Creating a policy

Company leaders should generally allow employees to use social media during work hours, said Wright. “Social media is ubiquitous for us—it’s our new telephone, and it’s not going anywhere,” Wright said. “Social media is the way in which we connect not just with friends, but with our Rolodex.”

But policies can make a difference in how often employees use these platforms, the Pew study found: At companies that do have a social media policy, 30% of workers said they use social media while on the job to take a break—compared to 40% of workers whose employers do not have such policies.

Many companies devised social media rules based on Walmart’s policy, Wright said, which the NLRB gave a stamp of approval to in 2012.

Social media policies should align with the company’s culture and industry, Wright said. Organizations should tap different divisions, including public affairs, legal, and marketing when composing social media policies, she added.

Wright recommends a social media policy include the following:

  • Names of those in the company who are allowed to speak on the company’s behalf on these platforms. If an employee is contacted via Facebook with a question or concern about the company, should they forward it to a certain company representative?
  • Guidelines for how inappropriate postings, which may include discrimination or threats of violence, will be responded to.
  • Training procedures, including informing employees what information is allowed to be shared. Since many people do not log off of social networks, informing them about multi-factor authentication options can also help protect information, Wright said.

Company leadership must ensure strong cyber protections are in place to secure data, Wright said. “If you’re not teaching employees about proper password hygiene, that could be blamed on you as a company,” Wright said.

Legal monitoring

About half of states now have laws on the books preventing employers from requesting passwords to personal social media accounts to get or keep a job.

However, “an employer can under the law monitor an employee’s use of technology, email, or the internet, so long as they advise the employee that they’re doing so,” Handman said. He recommends consulting with a lawyer before taking punitive action against an employee based on something that occured on social media, he said.

Some 32% of employees reported that their employer has policies about how employees should conduct themselves on the internet in general, according to the Pew survey.

But monitoring employee social media activity on a regular basis is unusual, Wright said. “I don’t think a lot of companies have time to play Big Brother,” she added. Some employ programs that monitor their brand and what employees post to promote it. “I don’t know any company that has enough dedicated staff to spy on employee social media,” she said.

Why your company needs a social media policy by .  Available from <> [November 2, 2016, 4:00 AM PST]

Grow Your Business: Using Social Media and Traditional Marketing

Grow Your Business: Using Social Media and Traditional Marketing by Dan Arens, Business Growth Advisor.  Available from <> [Posted: Nov 02, 2016 4:59 AM CST  Updated: Nov 02, 2016 8:39 PM CST]

Who can forget the epic commercial of the tiny little Chihuahua saying “I think I need a bigger box?” That advertisement ushered in a new era of marketing for Taco Bell. The year was 1998. Since then, with the advent of social media, the world of branding has changed forever. How did it happen and what can we do about it?

Several decades ago a few television networks, film companies, magazine corporations, and newspaper publishers virtually controlled what consumers saw and heard. Consumer marketing companies had to ‘pay to play’ in the market if they were looking to introduce, secure, or build their product. If you wanted to market your product, it usually involved some form of media in order to establish your brand in the marketplace. Traditionally, advertising was the vehicle of choice. All of that has changed.

As technology advanced in the form of devices like the digital video recorder, the consumer began making a turn toward more selective viewing by skipping ads, which resulted in giving them the power to select what they wanted to see. The internet itself gave the consumer the opportunity to avoid having to read anything that was hardcopy related, such as a newspaper or a magazine. Branding was undergoing a sea change in the shifting of power from the consumer marketing companies to the ultimate decision maker, that of the individual consumer or customers themselves.

According to Douglas Holt, the author of How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding, social media has played a pivotal role in our culture. It has taken society away from mass marketing to having a direct impact on societal groups, via social networks. The members of each social network have become the individual influencers for product purchases. Holt calls these individual groups crowdcultures.

As Holt points out, metrics compiled over the past ten years support the position that standard branding approaches are failing to deliver in the social media arena. He says “In YouTube or Instagram rankings of channels by number of subscribers, corporate brands barely appear. Only three have cracked the YouTube 500. Instead you’ll find entertainers you’ve never heard of, appearing as if from nowhere.”

Red Bull, a well known energy drink is a seemingly successful story of bridging the gap between traditional marketing and the utilization of social media. They are maintaining their presence with standard branding techniques, while they are also ranked number 184 on YouTube with slightly under five million subscribers. As a means of comparison, author Holt points out that Dude Perfect, a YouTube phenomenon that shows “trick shots and goofy improvised athletic feats” does much better than Red Bull. Dude Perfect is in position 81 with about 8 million subscribers.

Holt believes ‘crowdcultures’ are now the influencers and innovators in the branding process. With amateurs and individuals producing their own quality video content, consumer marketing companies are unable to compete. He cites Dove soap as an example of a company that used ‘crowdcultures’ and social media for initiating campaigns that supported cultural change in the beauty industry. Dove soap took the position of supporting “real beauty” as Holt says, they “tapped into this emerging crowd culture by celebrating real women’s physiques in all their normal diversity- old, young, curvy, skinny, short, tall, wrinkled, smooth. Women all over the world pitched in to produce, circulate, and cheer for images of bodies that didn’t conform to the beauty myth.” For a glimpse of what the crowd culture can do, go to and use the keyword Dove Soap.

While the traditional branding model was more from the top down in the use of advertising to promote and solidify a brand strategy, the social media approach is more along the lines of a bottom up approach for branding. The creativity developed by consumers (with or without the help of a marketer) appears to be a key in the success of a social media strategy.

It is clear the dynamics of product branding are very fluid at this time in the social media arena. It is also quite obvious that most businesses are being challenged with how to get involved. From a business growth perspective, author Holt suggests that you identify your current culture, look at alternatives that will “open up an opportunity”, identify some ‘crowdcultures’ that might work in your industry, strive to get the word out in that industry, and then continue to change your message as the culture changes.

Grow Your Business: Using Social Media and Traditional Marketing by Dan Arens, Business Growth Advisor.  Available from <> [Posted: Nov 02, 2016 4:59 AM CST Updated: Nov 02, 2016 8:39 PM CST]



Facebook has proven itself to be one of the best social media platforms in terms of connecting with family, friends, and even in gaining new contacts for one’s business. Ten years of groundbreaking innovations have made Facebook a force to reckon within the internet marketing industry.

With great success also comes the gut-wrenching pains. Due to the resounding success of using Facebook for social media marketing, business owners drove in flocks trying to take advantage of Facebook’s advertising schemes and gain a foothold in the internet marketing industry. In recent years, internet marketing dreams were easily achieved through Facebook. With everyone building up campaigns on Facebook, the platform is now an arena for marketers to strut their stuff. The arena is now very competitive—thus the increase in costs.

Facebook is now at its peak in terms of social media marketing power. With billions of dollars’ worth of experimentations, it now seems most marketers have seen the ups and downs of utilizing social media for their marketing campaigns.

Increasing one’s audience reach is one of the common goals of marketers on Facebook. Increasing the audience size increases the chances of your content getting shared. Increased sharing conversely increases widens your audience reached and increases the chances of conversions.

An article on Search Engine Journal shares 7 ways to increase reach on Facebook:

Here are some of the major points from the article:

• Engage your audience with good images
• Regularly use automatic bidding
• Automatic target placement increases your chance of success
• Avoid overlapping your ads
• Avoid frequently changing your campaigns
• Achieve your goals through reach campaigns
• Using Lifetime Budget helps

With these tips, it would be much easier for marketers to focus on their campaign goals and reach out to the neglected audience on Facebook. Facebook is a very accessible tool and very easy to use. Every business owner should take advantage of this great social media platform.