Your Facebook pictures may not be as safe as you think
Back in January, Greg McKenna, using the name Lacey Noonan, received media attention for his novel featuring New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots objected, but Amazon.com only pulled the self-published e-book off the market because of an Ohio couple’s lawsuit regarding an image on the book’s cover. The plaintiffs claim that the cover photo is one of their engagement pictures from their Facebook page. They say the author did not ask the couple for permission to use the photo, and they call the author’s work “offensive.” The couple is also suing the companies that sold digital formats of the book without their permission. This case is now in federal court.
Even though there is not a way to make your Facebook profile picture non-downloadable, you can still control who can and cannot see your other pictures. It is important that you edit your privacy settings so outsiders cannot view your photo albums. If you would like to see how your profile and photo albums look to people who are not your friends on Facebook, you can click on the “View As…” feature on your Facebook profile. You will discover which photo albums are available to outsiders and which are not available. The only downside is that your current Facebook profile picture and cover photo will be visible to everyone – no matter how strict your privacy settings.
Here are four other tips to maximize your privacy settings on Facebook:
Who can see your future posts? This is one of the most common privacy settings on Facebook. To use it, go to your privacy settings by clicking on the lock icon in the right-hand corner and click on “Who can see my stuff?” It will give you a drop-down menu, and you can select which groups of people can see your posts. If you select public, then anyone can see your posts. If you select friends, only your Facebook friends can see your posts.
Blocking people from your account – This is another common Facebook privacy feature. If someone is harassing or threatening you, the best choice would be to block them. To access the blocking setting, click on the lock icon in the right-hand corner and click on “How do I stop someone from bothering me?” It will give you a blank space to type in a person’s name or e-mail address and they will be blocked from seeing your profile.
Disabling the search engine feature – If you are uncomfortable with your Facebook profile being searchable on the Internet, you can disable the feature, making it more difficult for employers to find you. Go to your privacy settings by clicking on the lock icon in the right-hand corner and click on “See More Settings.” A list will appear, and then you will need to click on “Do you want other search engines to link your timeline?” under “Who can look me up?”
Creating a pseudo name on Facebook – If you do not want employers and other professionals trying to search your name on Facebook, you can change your name.
Most people change their last name to their middle name, or they abbreviate their first or last name. To change your name on Facebook, click on the upside down triangle icon, and click on “Settings” in the drop-down menu. Click on “Edit” under “Name” to change your Facebook name.
For more information, contact the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Service at 549-1430; e-mail at DL_CES_WHITLEY@EMAIL.UKY.EDU; or visit the office located in Suite 34, Cumberland Regional Mall, Williamsburg.
For information on the references and sources used for this article, check with the Whitley County Extension Service at the contact number listed above.