Lock down your Facebook profile security with the social network’s new privacy tool

facebook privacy basics
Worried about your Facebook privacy? Then you need to check out Facebook’s new profile security guide. The interactive tool, dubbed Privacy Basics, is helpful for both newcomers and ardent users interested in maintaining their online safety.

Instead of simply rehashing information already available on its help center, Privacy Basics is an interactive tool that offers both a quick profile clean-up (just three easy steps) and a breakdown of the elements of Facebook you can control.

Now, you may be one of those people who are constantly keeping on top of their security (in which case, carry on sharing to you heart’s content), but if you have any doubts about your Facebook privacy, this is the place to start.

Available in 44 languages, Facebook claims its tool was built using feedback from its global community. Privacy Basics not only makes its support information easier to digest — through bold, step-by-step visuals on topics including posts, photo tagging, and likes and comments, among others — but also provides useful links to Facebook’s data policy and additional privacy controls.

“People share their most valued moments on Facebook, and we want to make tips and tools clear and accessible whenever you need them,” writes Facebook in its blog post. “This is part of Facebook’s overall effort to make sure you have all the information you need to share what you want with only the people you want to see it.”

The past year saw an increased effort by consumer protection and digital security advocates to provide more info on app guidelines. In May, Norway’s Consumer Council held a live-stream that ran for close to 32 hours in which members of the public read aloud the user agreements of 33 popular mobile apps. Earlier this month, a report by the U.K. Children’s Commissioner included a section that rewrote Instagram’s terms of service in child-friendly language, with the aim of helping parents educate their kids on the use of their personal data.

Both initiatives drew attention to the need for more communication on the part of the service owners to better convey their privacy policies to the general public. And across the same period, Facebook was the target of two lawsuits concerning user privacy in regard to personal images posted on its site.

With the launch of Privacy Basics, it seems Facebook has taken the advice (and criticism) onboard. The interactive tool sees the company join the National Cyber Security Alliance, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Center for Democracy and Technology to raise awareness as part of Data Privacy Day, held each year on January 28. It’s a positive step on behalf of the social network that other platforms would also do well to embrace.

Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.
News

Browse safely and securely with Opera’s unlimited VPN on Android

Opera has added a new VPN to its Android browser, offering an easy way to keep your privacy and data locked up solid, and with no limits on usage or cost, you can keep it on all the time.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.
Social Media

Facebook axes alleged discriminatory targeting of ads after civil settlements

Facebook advertisers can no longer use targeting for age, gender or zip code when advertising in the housing, jobs, and credit categories. The changes come as part of a civil settlement, following earlier changes to remove racial targeting.
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.