Reclaim Your Facebook Privacy with One Easy Click

Last Updated May 19, 2010 11:55 AM EDT


Concerned about Facebook privacy? You should be: the company has drawn a lot of fire lately for its ever-changing, often-confusing privacy policies and settings. And as you already know, current and potential employers are checking you out on Facebook. Heck, your Facebook profile alone could cost you a job.

Thankfully, there's now an easy way to protect your Facebook privacy. The free ReclaimPrivacy bookmarklet scans your Facebook settings, displays the results, and lets you make changes with just one click.

The idea here is to make sure you're not inadvertently making public any Facebook-hosted information you want to remain private: friends, contact information, stuff you "like," and so on.


Unfortunately, Facebook's Privacy Settings menu contains a whopping three dozen options across six categories -- so many that few people bother to review and adjust them all.

The FacebookPrivacy tool works like this: You drag the Scan for Privacy bookmarklet to your browser's favorites area, sign into Facebook, go to the Privacy Settings page, and then click the bookmarklet.

In a few seconds you'll see results like in the screenshot above. If anything shows red (i.e. "insecure"), just click the corresponding button to fix the setting. Easy-peasy. There's just one shortcoming: the tool doesn't yet scan for photo and status-update settings. For now you'll have to tweak those manually.

As we've pointed out many times before, Facebook can be good for business. (It can also be somewhat disastrous, as Nestle learned back in March.) FacebookPrivacy.org helps you keep doing business without fear of a privacy breach.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.