Recently, the social network Facebook has launched the location sharing feature. Usually, this means that it’s time to reconfigure your privacy the way you want it to.
Here’s how you can stay in control from Facebook Places by editing your privacy settings.
What are Places?
Places is Facebook’s new location sharing feature that allows you to tell other Facebook users where you are. You can share your location with all Facebook users, or only your friends, or just the people you want them to know. You can also use Places to check your Facebook friends if their privacy settings allow you to do so.
To use Places, you need the Facebook app for iPhone, or you can visit touch.facebook.com from your phone’s browser. To use the Web version, your phone must support HTML5, and the important thing is that Facebook Places is currently only available to Facebook users in the US. Hopefully this feature will come to all users around the world soon. However, before this feature comes to you, let’s learn how to set privacy in Facebook Places.
Get started with privacy in Places
The first thing you need to do is log into Facebook and pay attention to the top right corner of the page, select Account > Privacy Settings.
On the privacy settings page, click Customize settings under SHOULDharing on Facebook. Here, you can choose to install Places.
Who will see your presence information?
The first setting you have to edit is Places I Check In and determine who can see information about your presence – check-in – on Facebook. You will see this setting under .
There are 3 main settings in Places I Check In. You can set your presence information to be visible to everyone – Everyone (all Facebook users can see your check-in), Friends of Friends (your friend and their friend can see the check-in) and Friends Only (only your friends on Facebook can see your check-in).
If you want more control over your presence settings, select Customize at the bottom of the menu. This selection will open a pop-up window, where you can set which information can only be viewed by you, or only by certain friends in your friends list. In addition, you can also exclude some people by entering their names in the field Hide This From (a handy setting when you want to exclude certain people like co-workers, parents or others so they can’t see your check-in every time they log in). Once you’ve tweaked the settings to the way you want them to, click Save Settings to save everything you’ve just done.
Located right under settings Places I Check In is a check box of the feature People Here Now. This setting will show Facebook users who are in the same location as you.
You don’t have to be someone’s friend to see their display, because it’s automatically displayed by everyone.
If you don’t want people to know where you are every time you log in (or when a friend checks your check-in) when using Places, you need to remember not to check this box.
Location information leaked by your friends
This is probably the most important setting to pay attention to. Unlike other services, Places allows your Facebook friends the ability to sign up for your check-in. The good news is that you can prevent people from revealing your location information. Also on this page, there are 2 other settings. Pay attention to the item Things Others Share, the last setting in this section is Friends Can Check Me into Places.
You can turn this feature on or off without any customization options. If you choose to disable – turn off the feature, this will make your friend’s attempt to check your check-in, they will not get a result. Conversely, if you choose Enable – turn on the feature, your friends can register your check-in. Whenever you want to cede control of your location information to someone else, it’s up to you.
It’s not over yet
Next, you need to customize the final control step, which can allow 3rd apps (like quizzes or games) to be used by you to access your location data. All you have to do is uncheck the box Privacy Settings under item Applications and Websites. It would be nice if Facebook could specify what these boxes mean, but this is exactly what you need.
Back to top of profile Sharing on Facebook and click on Back to Privacy on the left. Once you’re back on your main profile, scroll down to the bottom and click Edit your settings under section Applications and Websites.
Next, you will see a screen similar to the example screen above. Click the button Edit Settings in the section Info accessible through your friends.
You will then see a pop-up window that lists the data included in your profile, including your background, date of birth, hometown, current city, etc. All this information will not be visible to 3rd party applications, used by your friends.
Redirect down to the last right cell of the page, Places I’ve Visited and uncheck it if you don’t want the 3rd party apps your friends use to collect your check-in data.
Advice: 3rd party apps you use may get your location data only if you allow this app to do so. However, the bad side of the matter is that if you don’t want an app to access your location data, you shouldn’t use that app either.
It looks like Place is an interesting feature and will become popular in Facebook. However, it’s still a good idea to spend some time tweaking your privacy settings so you can control who sees your location and who can reveal your location. This will give you a lot of privacy when using Facebook.