Controlling Tags – And Your Facebook Image

Safer workplace computing
March 5, 2013
2013 Annual Otto Golf Classic
May 28, 2013

It’s no secret that social networking platforms have taken this world by storm, and chances are you utilize at least one of them to connect with friends, family, or those “friends” you don’t actually know but are still on your friends’ list. Facebook, the most popular social networking medium by far, can be a great way of keeping up with people close to us (or those others), but can also be a great way to get us in a lot of trouble. The general rule of social networking is to never post anything you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see,  which is good advice because a lot of us are Facebook friends with our grandparents. It has also become somewhat common knowledge that pictures posted on the internet will never truly be deleted. This is not absolute truth, but for safety reasons we should assume it to be.

Remember last Saturday? Of course not, you were tanked! But I bet your employer and family remember it clearly with all the pictures your friend courteously uploaded without your permission. Luckily Facebook has features that allow us to limit the damage done by our inconsiderate friends, or even by us. There is nothing that prevents someone from uploading a picture of you, but you sure can keep them from tagging you in it! It’s actually fairly easy and only takes a few steps:

First you’re going to want to log into your Facebook account. In the top right corner, you will see a few buttons that are all related to your account. You will want to click on the settings button, which looks like a little gear.

Click on privacy settings. Playing around with the settings in this menu can really open your eyes to who can see what you post. You may be surprised if you haven’t done any maintenance here previously.

The most important item on this menu is the “who can see your future posts” section. This basically controls who is allowed to see what is posted on your own profile. By default, it’s set to “friends” but if you’re like me, you don’t want everyone on your friends list to see everything on your timeline. You can easily add either groups or individuals by pressing the “edit” button to the right of it. This feature comes in handy when you want to filter someone from your profile, but feel bad denying the person’s friend request , and we all know the “I never got a friend request” excuse only works once. The rest of this menu is pretty self-explanatory, so if you know how to get to it, changing settings isn’t that bad.

Now to take care of that problem with your Facebook-obsessed friend who found it necessary to post your Saturday night shenanigans for the world to see. First, you’ll need to click on the “Timeline and Tagging” tab on the left side of the screen. You will be presented with a screen that looks very similar to the last:

There’s a lot in this menu, so let’s stick to what we came here for first. You’ll want to click the “edit” button I have highlighted, and then switch the option to enabled”. From this point on, every time someone tags you in a photo, you will be notified and asked to approve the photo to be posted on your profile. However, you will still be tagged in the photo even though it’s not shown on your profile. The second edit button that’s highlighted controls the actual tagging of the photo. Enable this option, and you’ll be in full control over what pictures you’re tagged in regardless of their appearance on your profile.

Taking these few steps to secure your profile is a great start, but far from a complete solution. The only way to be sure your profile isn’t the subject of misuse is to simply not misuse it. Remember – it’s your life and you can live the way you want, but not everyone needs (or wants) to see what you choose to do privately.