Facebook was designed with just one thing in mind - to get you to share things about yourself. The site makes money from giving advertisers information about your likes and dislikes.
In return Facebook offers you a way to stay in touch with your loved ones, or find like-minded friends, or share the things you have found which you think are worth sharing.
But there are dangers with using Facebook and the other social media sites, as this website shows. You need to protect yourself from predators and sociopaths - people who get their kicks from attacking others. People like 'Jamie Card' for example, who features throughout this site. This part of the site is about how you might be able to decrease the chances of you being made a victim of harassing trolls like Card.
How the trolls operate...Fake Facebook Profiles and Pages – the Tools of Scammers, Bullies and Thieves
05/11/2016wiki: How to Reveal a Fake Facebook Account
Take a look above for tips on detecting fake Facebook profiles
Below is some information about protecting yourself from trolls...
How do others see you?
One of the most important tools Facebook gives you is the chance to see your profile as others see it. This gives you a chance to stop over-sharing and giving information to the trolls and others which would be better kept to yourself - telephone numbers, email addresses, personal pictures etc.
This is how you use it...
'View as' opens your profile as others will see it. You can navigate acoss your profile as the general public sees it. Photos, addresses, comments etc. Anything that you can see here is visible and can be copied. The question you need to ask yourself is: 'Am I OK with letting this information out into the world'?
Assuming that you want to hide some of that information, let's take a look at how you can do it...
Our experience with trolls is that they like to take your pictures and threaten to share them where you might not want them to be shared - into porn sites and troll groups for example. You might want to do something about that - keep some images to yourself or just between you and your most trusted friends.
Open the 'photo' tab on your profile and go to the Album view... Any Album you see here with a padlock icon has privacy setting that can be changed in one go. You just click the padlock and choose who you want to be able to see the images inside. 'Friends Only' is a reasonable choice for most of these Albums. 'Public' is probably not such a good idea. You have the option to have different Albums with different privacy settings which are visible to a variety of different types of friends - you might want one Album which is accessible to a just small group of friends for example. Our advice would be to create a Page if you want to share images with the general public. This gives you the option of anonymity - no-one needs to know who you are unless you tell them. This helps keeps your profile safer from those who might wish you harm.
Albums which are marked with a gear contain images which have individual settings. You cannot change the privacy of all of the images in one go - you need to open the Album and select and open each image one at a time and set the privacy level for each. This can be a real pain to deal with, but it is worth doing - if someone like 'Jamie Card' gets holds of your pictures, things can get very difficult to deal with and Facebook is next to useless in terms of the help they will give you. Again, the reasonable thing to do is set for 'Friends Only', stopping anyone outside your friends group from looking at them, or copying them to somewhere else. Always check your changes by using 'View As'.
Trolls love 'Friends' lists. If they can find out who you friends are, they can attack them in order to get at you. 'Jamie Card' does this all the time - he'll post names and addresses if he can get them, photographs of children, phone numbers and emails etc. He is an idiot for sure, but he's the sort of idiot you would be better protecting yourself from from the very beginning.
Here's how to protect your friends list.
Start at your cover page by clicking the 'Friends' label to open the Friends page...
Click the 'pen' icon to edit...
Make your selections - at a minimum you should be setting these for 'Friends Only'.
When you are done, check 'View As' to make sure your changes have stuck.
TOP TIPs: You can hide every image from the general public apart from your cover image, which must be set as 'Public'. You can set your profile picture to 'Me Only' and it will still show - it just means no-one will be able to comment on it. Any image you post on a friends wall or in a group will be subject to the privacy settings there - make sure you know who will see your posts in groups, or on other profiles.
Facebook gives you some control over other parts of your profile...
You should look at this section carefully and select the privacy settings for each area. Your goal should be to share the minimum you can with the public. Always check your changes by using 'View As'.
You have the option to hide some sections of your profile...
You might want to hide the groups you are in and other parts of your profile. Some trolls like to stalk you and attack the groups you are in and the people you know. Don't make it easy for them.
Some parts of your profile can be hidden from your cover page...
to be continued...