Top 5 Ways to Keep your Facebook Profile Secure

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One link for security is not enough, you need a chain of links to build strength!

Lets be realistic, in today’s day and age, your Facebook Profile is just the most recent tool hacked.   With all the 3rd party applications we used like birthday calendars, Mafia Wars, and Farmville, it is no wonder that there are people out there just waiting for you to take a wrong turn. It happens with credit cards, your email, your identity. Essentially anything that uses personal information can be used for malevolent reason (no one is going to hack your credit account and deposit money…). This is especially true of your Facebook Profile.   But do not fret, here are 5 things you can do to help secure your Facebook Profile!

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Secure your Browsing on Facebook

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You might think Facebook doesnt care about your privacy, does not mean you shouldn't use the features they offer to keep you as secure as possible.

Have you ever noticed how banks always talk about how you can log in at all sorts of public places, always touting how secure their pages are?  Ever notice how Facebook never outright says how to be secure unless you dig for it?  Well Facebook has an obscure feature that allows you to protect your profile as you browse through the website.   It is called secure browsing (who would’ve thought?).  It allows you to browse its pages via secure browsing which can be visually detected by looking at the address bar and noticing the http:// portion of the address.  If it is secure, you will notice a https, if not, it will be http.   The https is equal to the small lock that appears on banking pages like Chase, where browsing is secure, especially when you log-in. Here is how you make sure you are browsing securely:

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Facebook Personal Profile vs. Fan pages

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Although Google+ just reached the 20 million visitors in 21 days mark, Facebook remains the focus of Social Media Management groups in their efforts to get you to use Facebook effectively.  Google+ has not proven its usefulness to business and non-profits yet as it is still in its testing phases.   I am on google+ now and surfing around to see how I like it.  In 3 weeks time, I will give my insight on the social media tool.

As I mentioned before, Facebook is still number 1 in the social media kingdom. However, people still are not exactly sure about the differences between Facebook Profiles and Fan pages.  The following are some graphics I prepared that I hope can give a visual context of these two profiles.   .

Facebook Profile

The most basic page: You cannot be on Facebook without one.

First and Foremost, Your Profile Page is YOU.  It is where you are represented as an individual. Where you can share with your friends your own interest as you see fit.  This is where you can Customize Privacy as you wish.

You can decide that only your friends from your neighborhood can see pictures of you at the local BBQ.   You can share with your extended family the funny ways your children beg you to take them to the park.  Or you can share interesting articles with co-workers about the new trends in housing prices.

The drawback to the Facebook Profile when it comes to branding is people cannot see who is behind the brand.  Facebook is about building relationships and if you are using a personal profile to promote your brand, you are losing out on some of the features offered by Fan pages that can aid you in your social media strategy. Not to mention that soliciting your friends violates Facebook terms of agreement and they can shut your profile down.

Facebook Fan pages

Yellow is the brand, Red are the administrators, Shades of blue are all potential fans, clients, volunteers, and donors.

Facebook fan page is the next level of you as an individual page. The focus is the Brand (in yellow).  You and your team members are the administrators (red), the ones who advance the goals of the brand.   The blue circles are the friends of the administrators that choose to become fans of the page.  As you can see, fans can come from anywhere, even if they are not fans of the administrator that choose to follow your brand.   There is no accepting fans here, they just choose to “like” your page.

The major focus of the fan page is that it focuses on the Brand you are promoting and not the person.   So even if people know you are behind the fan page, fans cannot access your personal profile unless you they are an accepted friends of yours, thus protecting your privacy.

You can measure ROI by looking at the Facebook Insight. This provides details about how many active users you have and how they interact with the page.

It is easy for fans to interact by sharing articles, pictures and videos that the fan page post.  They can also post their experiences when they volunteer and/or give to the cause.

The drawback is that you must have a personal profile to create a Fan page which means you must be sure to take advantage of the privacy settings to make sure your boss doesn’t check your Facebook profile and see pictures that are meant for your friends.

Both are powerful tools to spread your message but I suggest you create a fan page separate from your personal profile.  This way you can have a fan page (with its own url)  for your non-profit and/or business while keeping a personal presence.  Do these graphics give you a better picture of the difference between Personal Profiles and Fan Pages?

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