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This Is The New Facebook Timeline

Never a company to shy away from privacy controversy, Facebook’s new timeline feature has got people up-in-arms over both chronic over-share and potential security holes. In the spirit of sharing, here’s our tips for a painless transaction to the Timeline.

Why is This Important?

It’s important to remember why taking an interest in your privacy is important, and the basic reason is: safety.

For example, Facebook is a great platform to share your location with your friends, but if that data was public, someone could build up their own profile on you and establish when your home will be empty.

There’s a digital threat, too. If your e-mail is publicly available on your profile, it’s more-than-likely that you use the same address for other online services. And what if your secret question for those other accounts is your cat’s name, and you’ve mentioned his name in a status update? You’ve just given someone all the information they need to access your account.

These examples are a bit obvious, but with increasingly sophisticated hackers, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t Worry About Your Messages

There was a rumour in Norway that the new Facebook Timeline, which replaces the wall to show posts, pictures and places in date order, also published old private messages! Well, relax: we can dispel that rumour.

Facebook’s security detectives investigated the issue and discovered that these “leaked messages” were actually old wall posts that the users had forgotten about. To those users: you should probably read the rest of our privacy tips.

Limit Your Past Posts

If you’ve invested a lot of time on Facebook over the years, you won’t want to scroll through the entire timeline to hide posts that you no longer want to share.

Luckily, Facebook has given users the option to mark all of their old posts as unseen, unless someone else is tagged in it (in which case they can see it too).

Simply head to your privacy settings (click the little arrow in the top right) and choose “Limit the Audience for Past Posts”. To undo this action, you’ll have to go through each post manually – so think very carefully about it!

How Do You Connect?

To control how future content is shared, you’ll also want to edit you “How Do You Connect?” settings in the privacy menu.

This section lets you change who can see your timeline, who can friend-request you, who can send you messages, who can post on your timeline and who can see other bits of content.

It’s essentially a one-stop shop for controlling your privacy – and much easier than it was in the past. Thanks for listening, Facebook!

Step Into Someone Else’s Shoes

To get a hands-on experience of how your profile appears to outsiders, head to your timeline page and click the cog graphic to the right of your name and select “View As”.

Now simply enter a name and you can see your timeline in the same way they would. Too much information? Go and tweak your privacy settings.

Lucky Number Seven

Remember: if you’re unsure about the new feature, you’ve got seven days to look it over privately before it goes live for everyone else.

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