The Complete Guide To Protecting Your Facebook Privacy When Using Timeline (And The New Ticker)

Since Facebook introduced the new Timeline design that includes the ticker (which automatically shares actions from the apps you use) there has been the usual concern around privacy on the site. Sharing has changed fundamentally from something that you implicitly chose to do with the click of a button to something that happens passively by simply listening to songs, watching movies or using any of the apps that you have signed up to and granted access. For many this can come as a shock as their actions are seen by hundreds of friends but the good news is that there are plenty of settings to help you protect your own privacy on Facebook and we’ve written this guide to help you through the choices that you have.

Installing An App

When you choose to install an app of any sort (things like Social Running, Spotify, Netflix etc)you will be greeted with a permission screen that asks you to install the app. It is important to remember that these are apps that are built on top of Facebook and are not controlled by Facebook themselves. Only add apps that you feel comfortable with. This stage will only give the app access to your public information and your friends lists.

Additional Permissions

The next stage is where you have to sit up and pay attention because this is where it starts to get serious. On the right hand side of the permission screen you will see some of the additional information that the app is requesting. This will vary from app to app but it could include your email address, birthday, location information and other fields from your Facebook profile. Check this list very carefully and only if you are 100% happy with granting access to the app then proceed.

Friends Permission

Another important step is choosing who gets to see your use of the app. You can choose from the drop down list of options that Facebook provides. This is important because every time you use the app it will appear as an “action” in the ticker (the live feed in the top right hand corner of Facebook). If for example you don’t want everybody to see which movies you are watching on Netflix then this is the place to change the settings.

Additional Advanced Permissions

On occasion a second permission screen will appear and this will request more advanced settings like allowing it to post to your wall or to publish your checkins. You should pay particular attention at this stage as many spammy apps can take advantage of these features and clog up your feed.

Adjusting Privacy Settings Once App Is Installed

Any time that you want to check which apps you have installed (always a good idea to have a look back as there will be plenty you have given to permission to over the years) click on the activity log…

Once you click in to that screen click on the “all” button and then pick the app that you want to adjust the settings to from the drop down menu.

Once in the app you can change all the settings that you want to or even remove the app completely if you want. If you find that apps are posting too much information about you in the ticker then this is where you can choose for only certain groups of people to see your app activity.

Removing An App

If you want to remove an app completely because you don’t want to use it anymore or want to see more advanced options you can start by clicking on Privacy settings in the main drop down menu.

Next look for the section that says “apps and websites”

From this page you can see all the apps that you have ever installed on Facebook and if you click in to each app you can see how you use it, what settings you have allowed and the option to remove it completely.

Video Overview

If you want a full video overview with all the points discussed in this post you can watch this clear explanation provided by Facebook themselves.

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