Facebook's Constant Tweaks: 5 Ways to Stay Up to Date
When you disclose as much personal information as many of us do on Facebook, it's important to know when changes in privacy occur, when security updates go live and when new features roll out.
Take last week, for example. Fans of the "Twilight" movies fell prey to a scam that hijacked accounts and sent spam to unsuspecting friends. On Tuesday, some Facebook users reported suddenly receiving email notifications for settings they had turned off. This week, Facebook unveiled a new hub safety and security resources.
One way to stay in the know with the latest happenings on Facebook: Subscribe--i.e. "like"--the following five official Facebook pages. Once you do, Facebook itself will update you via an item on your News Feed on the latest virus circulating on the site, new updates to its platform and similar changes, helping to keep you safe and knowledgeable.
What it is: Like the Facebook Security page to receive updates on how to protect your information both on and off Facebook.
What you'll find: The Facebook Security page has a number of useful security resources and tips for keeping your account safe. Among them: A "What to Do" tutorial that lists the steps to take in case your account or a friend's account has been taken over and used to send spam.
Another section on the page, called Threats, details common scams you may run in to when using Facebook, how to recognize them and what to do. These topics include clickjacking; "Koobface;" spammy wall posts, inbox messages and chat messages; spammy groups and pages; fake notification emails and money-transferring scams.
The Facebook Security page also offers a set of set of security tips and a security quiz that Facebook users can take to judge how knowledgeable they are in protecting themselves online and their accounts.
What it is: This page gives you information on controlling your sharing and serves as a community resource for gathering input and feedback on Facebook privacy.
What you'll find: Expect to see updates from this page highlighting tips on controlling your privacy, such as how to create group lists, and answering common privacy questions such as, "How much of my profile can a friend-of-a-friend see?"
[Want more tips, tricks and details on Facebook privacy? Check out CIO.com's Facebook Bible.]
You can also find a list of sites that Facebook considers experts in online privacy. Some of these include links to the Center for Digital Democracy, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Privacy.org, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the World Privacy Forum.
3. Facebook Mobile
What it is: Since hundreds of millions of people access Facebook from their mobile devices, chances are you do, too. The Facebook Mobile page shares the latest tips and tricks for using Facebook on your mobile phone. You can expect to see updates when a new version is available for download, notes on upgrades and more.
What you'll find: The Facebook Mobile page includes a discussion forum where you can post and answer users' questions as well as a tab that aggregates the latest Polls that you can vote on and questions you can answer. Here, you can also find a link to Facebook Live, Facebook's live stream of events and announcements.
What it is: Known Issues on Facebook updates you when the company becomes aware of bugs and other issues on the site. These alerts can include issues such as scheduled downtime for maintenance, trouble accessing site features such as secure browsing or error messages.
What you'll find: The Known Issues on Facebook page features a reporting tool that lets you drill down to specific site features where you're experiencing difficulty.
For example, if you're experiencing a bug in Facebook's chat feature, you can visit the Report tab on the page and select Chat. This will bring you to a secondary page where you can search for your specific problem or browse possible remedies.
The Known Issues on Facebook page also has a Tips page with advice on what to do when you experience a problem. Some of these remedies include downloading the latest version of your browser, clearing your browser's cache and cookies and advice on managing your antivirus and ad-blocking software.
You can also visit the Notes section for a recap of the week's known issues and to see the status of where Facebook is in fixing the problems.
What it is: Like Facebook's own official Facebook page for a general overview of new products, announcements and stories on how people are using Facebook.
What you'll find: Facebook's Facebook page has a list of resources for the everyday user. Some of these include links where you can share feedback on the site, view information for developers, browse jobs at Facebook and read employee blogs.
Another feature is the Stories tab. Here you can browse hundreds of stories about how people are using Facebook in unique and inspiring ways in categories ranging from celebrities to crime fighting to love and natural disasters.
On this page you can also find press information such as corporate information, press releases, the latest Facebook statistics, executive bios and the Facebook blog; videos on everything from new product tutorials to mobile tips; and polls that want your vote.
Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and Web 2.0 for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org