We recently launched simplified privacy settings in response to feedback that certain Facebook settings had become too complicated. We hope that most of you have had a chance to check them out and find the ones that are right for you as you share and connect with your friends and people around you.
As we rolled out the new settings, we asked you to share feedback about them and ask questions about how privacy works on Facebook. Many of you did, and we wanted to share the answers to some of your most common questions.
We're also continuing our "Learn More" video series that offers tutorials on Facebook privacy settings. Today, we've launched the third video. Watch it to learn more about the controls for applications and websites:
What does the padlock next to the status update mean? Do you have to click on it every time you post something?
Clicking on the padlock reveals the default privacy setting for the post you're about to make, and it allows you to choose the privacy setting for that post. You do not need to click the padlock every time you post something, but only when you want to target what you're posting to a different set of people than your default setting. Clicking on the padlock from the Publisher on your home page or profile when you post an item enables you to customize who sees that specific status update, photo, link or video.
Click the lock icon to choose who can see a post: everyone, friends of friends, friends only or select a customized setting. In the customized settings you can select specific people to include or exclude, as well as target the post to go to specific Friend Lists.
When you publish from the Publisher without selecting the lock icon, the privacy setting for the content is your default for "My status, photos and posts." With our simplified controls, you can set the default for all of the content you share. Options for settings are friends only, friends of friends, everyone, recommended and customize settings from the main privacy settings page. If you select customize, you can set granular controls for different types of content.
Are there privacy settings for malicious links and/or spam comments?
Privacy settings aren't an effective way to block malicious links and spam, so instead we've built other defenses to combat phishing and malware. We have automated systems that work behind the scenes to detect and flag Facebook accounts that are likely to be compromised or sending spam. These systems look for unusual activity like lots of messages being sent in a short period of time or messages with links that are known to be bad, among other things.
You can help us out too. Please refer to our Help Center to learn more about how to report anything that looks suspicious
How does Facebook monitor content that compromises our security?
Once we detect a phony message, we delete all instances of it across the site. We also block malicious links from being shared and work with third parties to get phishing and malware sites added to browser blacklists or taken down completely. People who've been affected go through a remediation process so they can reset their password and take other steps to secure their accounts. We also partnered with McAfee to provide you with trial anti-virus software and free virus scanning and removal.
In addition to our automated systems and educational efforts, we have dedicated security and legal teams who are responsible to investigate spam, phishing and malware campaigns, and go after the people behind them.
To combat these threats we need your help too. Check out tips about staying secure from the Facebook Security Page and outside experts, and our frequent posts on security on the Facebook blog.
Are there privacy controls for parents over minors?
We encourage parents to monitor their teenager's use of Facebook as they wish, but we do not make special controls available for them to do so. Instead, we encourage open communication between kids and their parents, including the sharing of user names and passwords if appropriate.
Minors, anyone under 18, who use Facebook do have more restrictive privacy defaults than adults. Minors do not have public search listings created for them and the "Everyone" setting works differently for minors than it does for adults. When minors set information like photos or status updates to be visible to "Everyone," that information is actually only visible to their friends, friends of friends, and people in any verified school or work networks they have joined. The same is true for the "Send me messages" setting. The only exceptions are for the "Search for me on Facebook" and "Send me friend requests" controls, where if a minor has set those to "Everyone", the setting is treated the same as for adults.
We invest significant resources to educate kids, parents and teachers about safe and responsible Internet. These include our recent partnership with the National PTA, our comprehensive Safety Center and our close collaboration with an advisory board of five leading safety organizations in North America and Europe.
How does Facebook enable people to control the data they share with applications and websites?
Facebook gives you two ways to controls what information you share with applications and websites: in permission dialogs that appear when you use applications and in the Applications, Games and Websites section, which you can find at the bottom of your privacy settings page.
First, when you first use an application, you also are shown a permissions dialog box asking you if you authorize that application to access your information. This feature requires explicit permission before an application can access any data fields beyond your public information and provides you with more control than ever before.
Secondly, you can control which information your friends share with the applications they use in the setting labeled "Info accessible through your friends" in the Applications, Games and Websites setting page, which you can find at the bottom of your privacy settings page. From the same page, we've also made it easier to turn off the instant personalization program, so that no information is shared with our current partner sites—Yelp, Pandora and Microsoft Docs—or any future ones. Finally, you now can completely turn off Platform applications and websites if you don't want any information shared with them, even information available to everyone.
We welcome your feedback on our simplified privacy controls, so keep it coming by sharing your experiences at http://www.facebook.com/privacyfeedback. You also can receive ongoing updates on online privacy issues and tips by connecting with our new Facebook and Privacy page.
Monica, an associate on Facebook's user operations team, encourages you to share more feedback.