Colleges and Facebook
August 4, 2010 10:51 PM   Subscribe

What are things i can do to prevent colleges from getting into my personal life?

I've heard alot about the whole thing with colleges and employers snooping peoples facebook profiles to get a better view of the person. Which I don't want. My guess is the reason why it was so easy was because of how you can view peoples pictures without even friending them. But if you have secured your facebook to make your profile friends only, then should I be alright? Or is there more I should do/worry about?

Thanks :D
posted by NotSoSiniSter to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Supposedly, they have their ways to look at your profile. At least this is what colleges and grad schools have always told those of us seeking jobs. If you're tagged in any photos that someone whose photos are not private can see, it shouldn't be that hard for someone to view them. Your best bet is to de-tag yourself from anything questionable, clean up your profile, and lock it down.
posted by elpea at 10:54 PM on August 4, 2010

If you have for-sure set ALL of your privacy settings to be friends-only (you should go through every nook and cranny of the privacy settings section just to be sure) then you're fine.

Unless, of course, you're worried about one of your friends snooping on you. ;) But that's a separate problem.
posted by mekily at 10:56 PM on August 4, 2010

I've seen a lot of people change their names on Facebook in order to make it harder for non-friends to find them. Firstname Middlename or Firstname Nickname or something like that. Assuming you don't have your email address or anything like that viewable to the public.
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:04 PM on August 4, 2010

The simplest solution would be to think and use common sense before you post things online, and if you can't control that (friends photos), untag yourself.
posted by cgomez at 11:13 PM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding the use of privacy settings. I don't understand why people let themselves have all this open information for everyone to find and then wig out when they figure out everyone can find out their information.

I have my FB account set up with a fake name and an email address I only use for FB crap. It's locked down to friends-only, and I have requested once that a friend remove a picture of me altogether (in addition to de-tagging myself). I also regularly go through and check the settings, in case they pull another 'Here's a new feature, and to help we've automatically put the setting to "everyone can stalk you now". Enjoy!'

Some friends of mine have two FB accounts: one for work, and one for friends. If I ever have a job that wants it, I'll create a separate account for it.

Make sure you actually KNOW everyone on your f'list. If you want to do Facegaming, make a gaming account so you can add weird unknown people to your heart's content and your IRL friends and family don't have to look at how much you REALLY want to build that new horse stable or whatever.
posted by Heretical at 11:15 PM on August 4, 2010

For starters, you can take your real name out of your profile here. Since you're using the same username at other sites, it makes it easier to find your accounts at those places. Not that you're saying anything questionable that I've seen (except about flipping random people off as you drive by), but, you know, in case there's something out there that my 45 seconds of curiosity didn't find. Or that you might say in the next couple of years.

Next time I'm chatting with folks from Admissions, I'll ask if they have any tips for digging up dirt on facebook. I'm pretty sure they don't have any secret access, but they might have some ways of searching I don't know about. And unless your potential employer's the CIA or something (which, ok, with the robotics who knows?) you probably don't have to worry about them digging too deep. Google yourself, and see what you can find. They can probably find a bit more, but not much.
posted by hades at 1:40 AM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

In my view you have two real choices here.

Participate in facebook but make it employer/university/older relative appropriate.

Do not participate in facebook.

There are just too many things that can go wrong.
posted by Sara C. at 3:37 AM on August 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

You can set your privacy settings to max, and that should help. The problem, though is image tagging, which anyone can do. I have no idea how to control that, or whether those pictures show up in your friends news feeds.

And who knows how the privacy settings will change in the future. I mean, when facebook started, pictures were private by default, then suddenly they're public, which means everyone who thought things were private aren't.
posted by delmoi at 4:46 AM on August 5, 2010

Don't put stupid crap on your Facebook profile.

Don't pose for stupid pictures.

Set privacy settings to max.

Change your name on Facebook.

Once again: don't pose for stupid pictures.

Once again: don't put stupid crap on your Facebook profile.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:52 AM on August 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

Re photos: obviously this depends on what's considered "appropriate" in your line of work or for the situation you're concerned about. But if there's something you do that you don't want people to ever know about, you should probably just not do it.
posted by Sara C. at 7:08 AM on August 5, 2010

Don't work for people or go to colleges that snoop.
posted by gjc at 4:33 PM on August 5, 2010

Don't be a drunken idiot. Or, at least if you are one, don't let people take photos of you.
posted by twblalock at 2:46 AM on August 6, 2010

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