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  • When was the last time you changed the privacy settings on your Facebook page? Updating these settings is something you should do regularly, for yourself and for your business, especially now that Facebook has changed its platform. Again.

    The changes came about because of the data breach of 87 million Facebook users. In 2018, the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica extrapolated data out of the profiles of Facebook users and created a political firestorm by using the stolen data to persuade the social media platform’s users. And Facebook CEO Zuckerberg’s response? “I’m sorry.”

    Facebook has followed through on its promise to improve security and protect personal data, but you have to do your part, too.

    Tips for updating your Facebook page

    The basic privacy settings have changed. Audience selection, settings management, and tagging controls are all part of the new security updates. You can keep your Facebook page secure with some of these tips:

    • Limit who can see your page. In Facebook Privacy Shortcuts, you can establish who can see your page and your profile information. Personal profiles are often limited to friends.
    • Limit what you share. Every Facebook account begins with, “Fill in the blanks . . . .” Because we are task and goal-oriented we comply, often over-sharing information. Think twice about which phone number you share or the year of your birthday. Share only what you must, including tagging. You can request to review tagging before someone posts a photo of you; you also have the option to turn off facial recognition features.
    • Avoid third-party apps. Apps that ask if you’d like to sign in using your Facebook account make logging in and out convenient. Interoperability is a time-saver. It’s also an opportunity for people you don’t know to see your photos and personally identifiable information, like your age and gender.

    The takeaway here is to check and update your Facebook page settings regularly.

    Other advice for online safety and privacy

    Do you really need to know what kind of dragon you’d be in a fantasy world or what color defines your personality? Online quizzes intrigue you to find out. Unfortunately, they also analyze and sell your user data, harvesting it for other purposes- mainly to sell to advertisers. That’s exactly how Cambridge Analytica operated. Everyone has a responsibility to protect their individual data. While your page may be safe, you likely have followers whose pages are not safe from prying eyes.

    Failure to maintain account security can be costly. Of the millions of accounts breached last year, three million were in Europe, where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protects the data of individuals. As a result, Facebook will have to pay 4% of its annual global revenue in penalties, or about $1.63 billion.

    Should you stay or should you go?

    Keeping up with the continuous privacy setting changes in Facebook may seem like a lot of work, and it is. By this point, you may be wondering why you have a Facebook page at all. You wouldn’t be alone: Playboy, Mozilla, SpaceX, Pep Boys, and Sonos have paused or deleted their Facebook pages. The security concerns over private data prompted these companies to walk away from this popular advertising platform.

    You might not want to be too hasty in separating yourself from Facebook. After all, Facebook remains one of the most affordable advertising platforms for small businesses. The average cost per click (CPC) is $1.86 – less than a cup of coffee. Many businesses spend only a few hundred dollars per month on Facebook ads, and they’re happy with the results. Furthermore, almost no one places more relevant ads in front of consumers than this tool.

    There’s another reason to keep your Facebook page: the new security settings are in place. Follow the steps to update your page, and then check it regularly. Stay on social media and stay safe!

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