Facebook attempts to demystify its privacy settings, will test clearer prompts

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One of the biggest points of confusion among Facebook users comes with privacy settings. It’s something that Facebook as a company takes seriously, engineers and managers told reporters Tuesday.

Every day, Facebook performs 80 trillion checks to ensure that users’ content is shown only to the audiences they intended. User input is also valued highly, as Facebook runs 4,000 surveys per day in 27 languages, gauging opinion on privacy settings and changes.

But soon, users on both desktop and mobile will see clearer calls to action and options to let them know just who they’re sharing content with. One of the chief complaints the Facebook privacy team has received is when unintended recipients see content, most likely because the user has privacy set incongruently.

So what’s going to happen?

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Infographic: Facebook user privacy habits

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According to a recent infographic by NextAdvisor.com, 50 percent of Facebook users surveyed have yet to use the “view as” feature when checking their privacy settings. Are you one of the 50 percent?

The detailed infographic shows how Facebook users are still leaving vital information exposed.

Click below to find out how you can tighten up the security settings on your Facebook profile.

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What stops users from connecting with an app through Facebook?

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MyPermissions, a privacy certification firm, recently expanded to include developer trust certification that ensures user data collected by developers through Facebook remains private and secure.

The firm collects data on 70+ different Facebook permissions and their influence on user sign ups. Many times, users will cancel their app connection when it asks for certain permissions within their Facebook profile, as seen in MyPermissions November 2013 findings:

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Facebook isn’t suited for teens … yet

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Facebook has an issue with teens. CFO David Ebersman even admitted it in the most recent quarterly earnings call, saying that the site has seen a dip in daily active teen users. Regularly, studies and stories come out about how Facebook will fail in the future because of its declining use among teenagers. An article in The Guardian points to messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and KakaoTalk as the preferred method of communication among high school-aged students.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook is doomed long-term. Just because someone is using Snapchat at 16 doesn’t mean that they will use it at 25 and so on. Facebook has grown and adapted, but it seems many people still think Facebook is what it was in its infancy — a private way to connect with classmates and close friends.

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Infographic: Everything you need to know about privacy on Facebook

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As more people sign up for Facebook, it’s important to note that the site largely places privacy control in the user’s hands. The default setting for privacy is public, and many people don’t change it. So what steps can you take to manage your Facebook privacy like an expert?

The website BestComputerScienceSchools.net recently published a thorough infographic showing Facebook’s checkered relationship with privacy, and what users can do to stay ahead of the curve.

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Facebook begins warning users of Graph Search privacy change

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Facebook is removing a privacy setting the company says was sparsely used, allowing all users to be found via Graph Search. The social network is in the process of sunsetting the “Who can look up your timeline by name?” feature, which essentially allowed users to be undiscoverable through Graph Search.

Facebook is notifying users who currently have this feature enabled through a prompt atop News Feed and in an email.

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5 steps to protect your Facebook privacy in lieu of upcoming Graph Search changes

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Facebook is in the process of a privacy shift that would let all users be discovered via Graph Search.

The company reminded users earlier this month that it is phasing out the “Who can look up your timeline by name,” Facebook privacy feature that allowed people to essentially opt-out of being discoverable within Graph Search.

Here’s how you can make sure that you don’t get unwanted attention or unfamilar friend requests as a result of this Facebook privacy change.

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Default privacy settings for new teens’ Facebook accounts set at friends-only, adds public option

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Facebook announced Wednesday that it is changing up privacy settings for teens who join the site. For new teenagers, the default privacy setting for posts will be friends (for adult users, it will remain public at first). If users aged 13-17 so choose, they can elect to have their posts public, but the automatic setting is friends.

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Facebook for Android update has privacy walkthrough

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Facebook released a minor update to its Android app Wednesday, bringing the structured status updates to more users and giving Android users more access to privacy information.

Now, similar to its education on desktop, Android users can easily tap through to figure out how to control privacy settings on posts and figure out how to block or report harassing users.

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Facebook details global requests for data

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Facebook has been trying to become more transparent as a company. New General Counsel Colin Stretch posted Tuesday a thorough report of all government requests for Facebook data over the first six months of 2013. This report details the number of requests a country’s government has made to Facebook, the number of users’ data that was requested, and the percentage of requests where Facebook did produce data.

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