Facebook Changes Its Security Settings For Better or Worse

For many years, Facebook users have been plagued with a lack of understanding on how their social media platform really works. It is only a small percentage of users that actually take the time to thoroughly analyze every single aspect of Facebook. After all, someone that is a member for the purpose of posting statuses and sharing pictures with family and friends is not so concerned about the custom configurations in their account settings.

However, these configurations are actually very important for the security and privacy of users. This is something that usually becomes clear at a later point, when the individual becomes angered because they feel unprotected.


Photo: JaysonPhotography / Shutterstock

The truth is that Facebook does a relatively good job at keeping its users protected through providing many different privacy control options; though there is the odd issue – like how profiles are no longer able to be invisible in search or how cover photos have to be ‘Public’.

Facebook Users Claiming Confusion

The most common claim by Facebook users in regards to their security settings seems to focus around confusion over how they are really supposed to go about controlling their security settings.

Facebook claims to undergo 80 trillion individual privacy scans every single day to ensure data is not accidentally leaked in any way. Approximately 4,000 surveys are also administered on a daily basis to get a feel for the effectiveness of the current Facebook privacy settings.

In part, these surveys have led to a change in how Facebook displays their security controls.

These surveys have provided a variety of changes to Facebook’s approach in the past – which proves that they do listen to their users. One scenario that really stuck out came from underage Facebook users that wanted their posts to be displayed as ‘Public’. Facebook listened to this request and lifted their public posting block for minors in October of 2013.

Facebook Plans to Protect Differently

It seems that Facebook may also be listening to some of the more recent suggestion and ideas. That’s because they actually plan to implement a few new security features that seem to have been clearly valuable, yet missing.

The most important security setting to note is the control over who can see your cover photo. Users will be able to choose who gets to see their cover photos – this is very important as you can already block your profile picture from the general public, but your cover photo is not kept safe.

More emphasis will be put on making status updates for specific audiences. This means that users will start to see how easy it is and how it really works when they want to direct a status towards a particular group of people on their friends list. Previously the main focus was on whether your status update was for public viewing or just for your friends to see – but now, you have the options that make it easier and more specific for choosing exactly who sees your status updates.

Additionally, viewing audience will be controllable when a friend re-shares your content. You will have the option of limiting visibility to just your mutual friends.

Facebook Plans to Demonstrate Differently Too

The actual changes in security control are not the big highlight. Facebook has realized that users are confused with how they are supposed to control their privacy settings. These security changes are very hands on, so they will be quickly noticed by the average Facebook user. Not only that, but there will be information boxes that are easy to read and specific to the point. Thus, it will help to clear up any confusion that may be had on how to control each specific security setting.

While the average tech savvy individual may be able to handle all these controls on their own, there are many people that are not very computer literate but still use Facebook. After all… it’s Facebook!

This will definitely help with making it easier to understand how people can actually take advantage of Facebook’s privacy controls and how they can ensure that their content and information is kept as privat as they would like.

Facebook has usually done a good job from the back-end when it comes to keeping their users safe. There have been some debatable changes in security settings over the years, but it’s really hard to say that the company isn’t trying. With the continuous changes based on real survey results, it’s completely reasonable to expect that Facebook will just continue to work towards providing the specific safety controls that its users truly want.

If you are a Facebook user and you haven’t explored all your security settings, please do. Even if you’re not particularly concerned, it may still be a good idea to limit your emotional status updates and clubbing pictures to being visible by you and your friends – after all, what if a prospective employer searched you on Facebook?