Kim Komando, Signal Contributing Writer
Facebook is all about making it easy to share your life with your friends and family. Unfortunately, there are just some things you shouldn’t share online.
Your phone number
It’s a good idea to avoid having your home or cellphone numbers on your Facebook page. Prank callers, stalkers and even identity thieves can use this information to ruin your day.
Go to Facebook and click on your name at the top of the page. When your profile page loads, click the “About” tab just below your cover image. Go to “Contact and Basic Info” in the left column and click the hyperlink that says “Add a mobile phone.”
Click the audience selector icon to the right, which is a silhouette of two people and change it to “Only me.” Now no one but you can see your phone number, and it won’t show up in searches.
Your home address
Almost any person trying to steal your identity, or rob your house, could take advantage of knowing your home address. Be sure that none of that information is visible anywhere on your Facebook profile.
Follow the directions in the last section to get into the “Contact and Basic Info” section of your profile information. Look for “Add your address,” and click on the hyperlink, if there’s an address there, delete the information. Then click “Save Changes.”
Try not to leave any information on your Facebook that reveals where you work. You don’t just have to worry about identity thieves when it comes to your employment.
If someone from your workplace tries to search for employees on Facebook, then they might find something that they don’t like. Similarly, if hackers wanted to figure out who to target if they wanted to break into your workplace’s computers, social media would be their first stop.
If you have posts about previous jobs, you might want to remove those, as well. A current coworker or supervisor you decide to friend might see them and it could color their opinion of you.
Your relationship status
Including your relationship status on your Facebook page just invites awkwardness. The number of “likes” that you might get from people after you change your status from “married” to “it’s complicated” will creep you out.
It’s easier to just remove your relationship status entirely. Go back to the “About” section on your timeline, click “Family and Relationships” and click “Edit” next to your relationship status to switch it from “Public” to “Friends,” “Only Me” or “Custom.” Switching to “Friends” or “Only Me” will remove the information from your timeline.
When you signed up for Facebook, it asked for your birthdate.
Your birthdate is a piece of information that identity thieves will need if they want to pretend to be you. In your Facebook profile, click your name at the top. Then beneath your cover photo click “About.” Under “About” in the left column, choose “Contact and Basic Info.”
Next to “Birth Date” click the “Edit” icon. Then click the audience selector icons for both day and year and choose “Only Me.” Then click the “Save Changes” button.
For information on Kim Komando on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks, visit her at Komando.com.