Facebook is the most popular website in the USA. surprised? Probably not, Facebook is providing something everybody loves - interaction. It all began as a nice college website, where you can share everything college is giving you, but now it is a mainstream website. The biggest growing group are the 55+ people. Pretty awesome right?

Facebook is a huge site, which means they are doing really well on Google. When you type in your own name you will (almost) always find your Facebook page on the first page of the Google results. This is not the most important reason you want to edit your Facebook setting though. You want to do this because everybody knows Facebook! Everybody knows what it is, everybody knows that Facebook is a site where you can see personal info of people, including pictures and whether they are single or not. If a potential employer wants to look you up, they may even not go to Google at all - They go straight to Facebook. That is a place where they can find info about YOU.

And this is my realisation: People won't go to Google if they want to know some general stuff about you, they will go to Facebook!

Time for action

Because we don't want to have everything visible when people are looking you up (or maybe you want), we are going to adjust some settings on Facebook.

  • Untag yourself on weird pictures
  • Set up some basic privacy settings
  • Set a standard on with who you will connect and with who you won't

Untag yourself from weird pictures

You don't want to be on pictures which you don't want to share with everybody. For instance, I have a picture where I am on a party with a bottle of beer in my hand. I didn't upload the picture myself, somebody else did. And I don't want to bother somebody else with deleting this picture of their own Facebook page, so I'm just going to untag myself. Really easy. Under every (tagged) photo you will see your own name and you can click on 'Remove tag' and that is how it is done. People won't see this picture anymore when they are on your Facebook page. Now you are good to go to your next job interview!

Set up some basic privacy settings

If you don't want to show pictures to everybody, you can also adjust your privacy settings. This is something I didn't do until my realisation. What do you want to share with everybody? I don't want to share things like family, relationships and photos. So I set these things to 'Friends only'. People can see my website and bio though, that is something I would like to have public. So this are my privacy settings right now and I am happy with it. You can choose as well when you are posting to who you are going to send this status update, make sure your default is 'friends'!

Facebook privacy settings

Set a standard on with who you will connect and with who you won't

This is a tough one. With who will you connect and with who not? For instance, when you are a blogger, will you connect with readers? And how do you know these people are readers? Will you connect with your colleagues and boss? In that way they can still see everything on your page.. This is something you need to think about yourself, I will share what my standard is: I will connect with:

  • Friends and family. Obvious. Everybody I know and they want to connect, I will connect.
  • Old friends from high school/good friends of elementary school. I don't want to connect with everybody I ever knew, so I will just connect with friends. When it is someone I won't say hi to in real life, I probably won't connect with that person.
  • Online buddies. I do want to connect with every reader I have, but that is good possible through Twitter, so I won't connect with every reader I have. I will connect with online 'friends' though. If I had contact with somebody before and we have a good 'relationship' it is fine, I will connect.

After all these settings, something happened. Where people would normally look you up on Facebook instead of Google, they can't find anything on Facebook, so they will go back to Google! And this is the awesome thing about the Facebook settings. You can still have Facebook as a nice page on the Google results first page, but people who are not connected with you won't see anything! This means they have to go back to Google, the place where you own the results, as you protect your name online by signing up everywhere! Pretty nice.

What settings do you have on your Facebook page, what will be your standard when you are connecting with people? Share it in the comments!