Here is my checklist for using Facebook (and other social networks) safely. Although I developed these with kids in mind, they are good guidelines for ALL of us. What do you think? Any you would add?
Safely Using Facebook and
Keeping a Positive Digital Reputation
❏ All your privacy settings should be set to "only my friends" or "no one". Remember, only people who are true friends in real life can be your friends in Facebook. And, don't put too much importance on whether someone agrees to be your Facebook friend or not.
❏ Only join networks and groups that are real organizations or groups in real life.
❏ Friends who use Facebook in a dangerour or hurtful way may not be your online friends. You have to unfriend them.
❏ Keep your time on Facebook in balance with other things that are important - like homework, chores, getting together in person with friends).
❏ ONLY positive information gets posted anywhere at anytime. No exceptions.
❏ Leave "interested in" and "looking for" unchecked (they will not show in your profile). Facebook is for interacting with your friends, not meeting strangers and building new relationships.
❏ Under Contact: Enter only email and screen name. Any of your friends can get any other information from you directly if they need it. Don't risk making it public by accident.
❏ Under Personal: These are empty boxes that can be filled with anything, so be careful that you don't accidentally put something here that you shouldn't make public. Remember that anything you say here can and might be used against you. Don't think you can just delete it later and no one will ever know, either. On the Internet, information has a way of getting passed around and becoming permanent.
❏ Under Marketplace - this is probably not the best way for you to buy and sell stuff either. Selling stuff and maintaining privacy don't go together. Nobody should know about you on Facebook except your friends, and if you want to sell to them there are better ways.
❏ No need to search for friends except for the purpose of finding your true friends to establish friend links with.
❏ Write in proper English. What you post is a reflection of you and your family.
❏ Dad or Mom should help you monitor your impact and digital reputation. Approve them as a “friend.”
Other resources: www.guardingkids.com