Facebook Security – How to lead a double-life

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It is possible to separate your personal and professional posts in Facebook. In fact, you can live a triple, quadrupedal or more life. With friend lists, you can separate numerous aspects of your life. Through the power of this Facebook functionality you can separate friends’ posts as well as choose who can view your posts on a post-by-post basis.

Facebook friend lists have been around for some time. But, a few months ago, in response to Google+ Circles, Facebook made some changes and began to push friend lists to the forefront.

Smart Lists
Facebook creates a few friend lists for you; they call these lists Smart Lists. So, you can use lists without creating any on your own. The lists Facebook creates are based on your profile, and come from this information:

  • Work
  • School
  • Family
  • City

As an example of how Smart Lists work, lets say you work for a company named Widgetmeister, and you put that fact in your Facebook profile. Your work list would be automatically named Widgetmeister. You have a coworker named Jane, who is also a Facebook friend. If Jane put in her profile that she works for Widgetmeister, Facebook would automatically add her to your work list. You can also manually add friends to Smart Lists. I’ll explain how later.

Close Friends, Acquaintances and Restricted lists
Facebook also automatically creates these lists. However, you choose which friends go on these lists. Close Friends is meant for just that, your closest friends. When you add a friend to Closest Friends, more of that friend’s posts show up in your news feed. Conversely, less of content from friends on the Acquaintances list posts will be displayed in your news feed. Friends placed in the Restricted list see only your public posts (more about Public Posts next time). So, if you have friends with whom you want to remain connected, but you don’t want them to see all of your posts, the Restricted list is the place for them.

Custom Lists
All of the lists mentioned so far are great, and can help you separate some aspects of your Facebook life. But, there is even more power in creating your own lists. As an example, lets say you are in sales at Widgetmeister. And, you want to use Facebook to connect with your clients. You can create a clients list. You can then prevent the friends you place on your clients list from seeing your personal posts. And, you can make posts that only your clients list can see.

Next Time
You now have a little background about Facebook friend lists. You have learned about the lists Facebook creates for you automatically, and that you can create your own lists. Next time I will show you how to create lists, and how to place friends on lists.

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