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With a recent study revealing that 54.5% of Australia's internet users are on Facebook, making sure that you keep your private information to yourself and a few of your closest friends is more important than ever.
Afterall, if Facebook decides to change a single privacy issue to be open to your "Network" by default, that means several hundred thousand Australians allowed to take a stickybeak.
Facebook's privacy policies are a notoriously moving target. Queensland's Privacy Commissioner Linda Matthews slammed Facebook for deceiving users about privacy issues.
Keeping track of what settings will suit you best can be tricky. Sometimes, they'll change when you least expect them to. so here's our guide to getting medieval on Facebook. Whether you want to keep your privacy or delete your account, we’ve got the details.
1. Top ten privacy settings
There are ten great privacy tips at http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-privacy-2009-02 which walk you through how to remove yourself from Facebook search, create friend lists and prevent people tagging photos of you. Very handy, even if slightly out of date now. It's a great starting point for the essentials.
2. Hey, that lock? Use it!
When you post an update, a little lock appears right next to the share button. Click on the down arrow and you can choose who sees that update.
If you have friend lists created, this means that you can ensure that only your friends see your drunken weekend, rather than your family and workmates, for example.
So simple - we'd "like" it if we could.
3. Facebook places? Begone!
Facebook Places has rolled out in the UK and the US, and Australia will get it before the end of the year.
Do you really want people telling the world where you are right now?
If the answer is no, then rather than walk you through in great detail, we’ll point you to LifeHacker’s excellent summary of how to disable Places. http://lifehacker.com/5616395/how-to-disable-facebook-places
4. Keep an eye on privacy changes
Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg infamously said “They trust me. Dumb f__ks,” about Facebook users.
A far better solution is to watch for upcoming changes at www.allfacebook.com, where you'll also get advice on how to solve the problems as they arise.
5. Delete Facebook entirely
You may think, if you read the Facebook account information, that your only option is to deactivate your account, leaving everything there ready for a moment’s weakness to start it up again.
But you can really, truly, erase everything if you head to http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16929680703 and follow the instructions.
We warn you in advance: it will mean avoiding everything Facebook for 14 days to finalise.
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