Being Smart with Facebook Places
There are a few things you can do to make your use of Facebook Places smarter and safer.
The first steps were mentioned above: don’t check in your friends, or add their residence as a Place, without permission. People like to know that they have a say in how their personal information gets sharedand both where you live, and where you are, can qualify as very personal information indeed.
Next, consider changing your Facebook permissions around Places. There are two main changes that most people will want to consider.
The first is disallowing people from checking you in. This is a bit harsh, because you may want to allow it sometimes (when you’re at a concert with friends, for instance), and not allow it other times (a “friend” checking you in to a strip club as a joke). If you turn off the ability for others to check you in, then do want to be included in a check-in at some point, you can change the setting for a few minutes at the time, or just check yourself in.
Most people never bother to change their Facebook privacy settings, so this may be the first time you’ve done so. Here’s how to actually do it:
- From your Account menu, choose Privacy Settings.
- Choose the Custom tab on the left.
- Choose Customize Settings.
- Go down to Things Others Share and find “Friends can check me in to Places.”
- Set this to Disabled, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3 You can disable the ability of friends to check you in.
In addition to possibly changing your privacy settings, the other tip is simple: don’t overuse checking in. Checking into your home office every morning, or at every stop on a long trip, may just be boring to your Facebook friends. Consider keeping check-ins to events that are at least somewhat memorable; where you have already met up with friends, or hope to; or where you hope to score a Facebook Deal.