Monday, December 27, 2010

Facebook Privacy Warning

A notice is showing up for Facebook users to update security settings for "Account Protection".  The options are provided to make it easier to log back in to Facebook in the event there is a problem with your account.  The first provided option is to provide a secondary e-mail address.  The second option includes providing your Mobile number to achieve "High" account control. 

Unfortunately, caution is needed in both instances to prevent forfeiting privacy.  Added alternate e-mail address(es) have a default setting of "Friends Only".  If you elect to add your mobile number, there is a pre-checked option to add the number to your Facebook profile.  Instructions for customizing the information shared is in the "Privacy Settings" section below.

Information on the notice, steps to add the information and recommendations are provided below.


The "Account Protection" notice appears in the right column.  The status changes from Low to Medium after adding an alternate e-mail address. 

Step 1

Multiple alternate e-mail addresses can be added.  

Each added address will receive a "Facebook Contact Email Confirmation" with a link to confirm the alternate address.

WARNING:  If you restrict access or do not share your e-mail address with others in Facebook or have customized settings, it is necessary to update the settings for any added e-mail address(es).  See the instructions below under "Privacy Settings"
After confirming any added alternate e-mail addresses, clicking the question mark (?) on the update screen explains how you can achieve "High" security:

Step 2

When you select the option under Mobile Phone to "Sign up for Facebook mobile" and reach "High" Account Control, the instructions are to select country and mobile carrier and then enter the code received after sending a text message to FBOOK from the mobile number.

Unfortunately, this is where caution is needed.  The option to add the phone number to your Facebook profile is pre-checked:

 WARNING: "Add this phone number to my profile" is pre-checked.

If you do not have your that information blocked in your profile, unless the option is unchecked, depending on your privacy settings, you will be providing your mobile number to anyone who has access to your profile information. 

Personally, considering the frequent manner in which Facebook changes settings, I prefer not to include that information in Facebook.  However, in the event you elect to include your mobile number, you can control who has access to that and other personal information.

Privacy Settings

To edit your Privacy Settings, select Account > Privacy Settings. 

In the "Choose Your Privacy Settings" window that opens, select Customize settings.  From there you can change the options as to who has access to your contact information.  The options include Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends and Customize (edit).  

Although I have not provided my Mobile phone, I kept the "Only Me" setting.  If you opt to customize that setting, you can make selected information visible to specific people on your friends list by individually adding their name(s).  Information can also be hidden from specific individuals by adding the name(s) in the bottom section:

If you have not seen the "Account Protection" notice and wish to go ahead and add a backup e-mail address and/or mobile number, the steps are available at  Just be careful that you are not sharing more information than you want available.

Clubhouse Tags: Clubhouse, Security, Privacy, How-To, Information, Tutorial, Family Safety,

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...


NKYadav said...

I already added my mobile number to FB - sort of.

I have a Google Voice number that I used as my 'mobile' number to help with privacy issues, leaving my personal cell phone out of my profile, and yet still being able to use the high account security.

If you have a Google Account (aka GMail, Picasa / Picasaweb, etc) then you can easily get a Google Voice number and keep your cell private at that site 9andothers as well).

Corrine said...

That provides an alternate method if you feel it is needed.

Personally, I don't see how adding a mobile number to Facebook provides increased security. An alternate email serves the same purpose should your Facebook account be compromised without exposing your mobile number to Facebook insecurities.