There are simple Privacy Settings that you can customize to prevent your personal information from becoming public on Facebook and search engines. Here are a few suggestions to protect your personal information, without putting up a brick wall between you and your Facebook friends:
1. Go to Settings > Privacy Settings > Profile
Basic - Select “Only Friends” at the bare minimum in all categories. You can also customize to allow the selected criteria “except X group” or individuals by clicking on Edit Custom Settings.
Contact Information – set to “Only Friends”.
2. Go to Settings > Privacy Settings > Search
If you would like people to be able to find you, allow them to see your profile photo. Leave your Search Visibility set to “Everyone”, but unselect “My friend list” and “Pages I am a fan of”. This gives a good indication of who you are from your profile picture, but does not give out any other private info.
Important step! Select “Create a public search listing” if you wish to be found via search engines. This option will allow anyone to see your current profile photo, full name, and your networks without being logged into Facebook. If you do not wish to be found on search engines, simply unselect and make sure to save changes.
3. Go to Settings > Privacy Settings > News Feed and Wall
Actions Within Facebook – This is the main point of interaction on Facebook. If you unselect all or most of these, you will pretty much be non-existent on Facebook, as most users rely on the News Feed rather than visiting friends’ Walls.
Facebook Ads – These ads let your friends know if you are a Fan of a Page. It’s just another way to share your opinions with your friends. Select “Only my friends” or “No one” for this option.
4. Go to Settings > Privacy Settings > Applications
Overview - Carefully read the Overview to understand the terms for engaging in applications from third-party providers on Facebook.
Settings – If you are already using Apps, you cannot completely opt out of the information that is shared through apps. However, the information is only shared with your confirmed Friends, who already have permission to view your information.
If you have any additional privacy tips, please share them in the comments!