Clearly I was having a ‘moment’ on the 25th of June 2010.
My Facebook data says that was the day I officially put my profile into lockdown.
It wasn’t an “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” kind of moment ‒ just a realisation at the time that Facebook was kind of lame, they were selling my data, and I was done stalking people.
Yet I didn’t delete Facebook totally.
Purely for practical reasons: there are a lot of old people in my life who have Facebook (hello Aunties!), and, let’s be honest, it’s an efficient and low-contact way of keeping up with them. A few likes every now and again, and a couple of ‘happy birthday’ wall posts (which Facebook even reminds you of!), are much easier than a phone call, right?
“Happy Birthday, Aunty Colleen!”
Of course you may be someone who’s still having a ball playing Farmville on Facebook. If that’s the case, knock yourself out, and congrats on doing your bit to pass around the hat for Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook only raked in around $US40 billion in advertising last year).
Yet this week, with 14 per cent wiped off Facebook’s value due to the latest hacking scandal, it’s not all likes and selfies for the world’s fifth-richest man. Heck, #DeleteFacebook is even trending on Twitter. (Which is kind of like Ronald McDonald passing around a flier to boycott KFC.)
Zuckerberg is now begging for our forgiveness ‒ he doesn’t want to make this his ‘Microsoft moment’, when, 20 years ago, Billionaire Bill got rogered by the US government.
Let’s be honest though, it’s high time you do some rogering of your own. Here’s how to do lock down your Facebook profile in three simple steps:
First, go to the upside-down triangle, click on ‘Settings’, and then ‘Privacy Settings’. Facebook makes the privacy settings intentionally confusing in the hope you’ll give up. Don’t. Just select ‘Private’ or ‘Only Me’ or ‘Friends’ for each setting. Then go to ‘Timeline and Tagging’ and do the same.
Second, cull your list of friends. I’ve got mine down to 112. Realistically that’s probably 50 too many, but some social connections are complicated, right?
Third, download a copy of your Facebook data (‘Settings’, then ‘Download a Copy of Your Facebook Data’), and see what they’ve got on you. At the very least, strip out personal details like your phone number, email and date of birth.