Should Authors #DeleteFacebook?

I wanted to address a situation that might be concerning to you. 

Facebook - yikes. There are a lot of questions rolling around. 

Is my information safe? Is it going away? Should I delete my account? What the heck is going on?!? 

A step-by-step guide to show authors how to protect their information on Facebook!

Here's the deal: there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered, and more information will be coming out over the next few weeks. 

So what can you do until then? 

If your ideal reader uses Facebook as their main social media outlet, there are ways that you can protect your information moving forward - which I'll address in a minute. 

But here are a few things I would encourage you to consider: 

1. If you begin to see a dramatic decrease in engagement and growth of your Facebook Page, consider trying another social media outlet. I would encourage you to ask your audience what social media outlets they are on. Keep a clear line of communication flowing. If you see that they are moving to Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, strongly consider focusing more of your time and energy on one of those outlets. 

2. This is a big wake-up call to really focus on growing your newsletter.Facebook has been a huge ship we thought would be indestructible - but now it's showing it's weak spots. Social media is your connection tool - it's not the final destination for your readers. You don't own the connections you make on social media - you do own the connections on your newsletter. 

If you're struggling to grow your newsletter, if you haven't started one, or whatever the situation may be, don't worry - I've got you covered. I'll have more information for you in the coming weeks. 

So, how can you protect your information on Facebook in the meantime? 

1) Check your privacy settings. At the top righthand side of your Facebook account, there's an arrow (image below). Click on that and select "settings" - this is where you can check your privacy settings, blocking, tagging, etc. This is where you control who sees what information. 

FB screenshot.jpg

2. Delete unknown or unused apps within Facebook. This is a big one! This information is also in the "settings" section (image is below). For example, I use Facebook to log into my Buffer account. This app should be safe, but Candy Crush? Not so much. I did this the other day and I was shocked at how many apps I was using within Facebook. 

Third-party apps (like a personality quiz or "Which Harry Potter Character Are You?" quiz) are how the hackers got personal information. 

apps arrow.jpg

The key here is awareness - be mindful of what you click on. Don't live in constant fear of "Will my information be hacked?" or anything like that - just be mindful. 

3. Uncheck "Apps Others Use" in the Apps setting. When you finish deleting those old apps, look at the bottom of the page and edit "Apps Others Use" - this is a big one. This is how Cambridge Analitica obtained access to this information. People who can see your info can bring it with them when they use apps.

apps others use.jpg

4. Check the default setting on who is allowed to see your posts. If you just want your friends to see your posts or only people who have a Facebook account, you can control that. 

When major situations like this happen, I think it's a good wake-up call to not get too comfortable or unassuming. We need to be aware of what's going on and always looking forward. 

Know that we are here for you and we will have more information coming your way over the next few weeks. If you have questions or concerns, please leave them in the comments below. 

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