When was the last time you took a close look at the Suggested Friends provided on your Facebook account? I’m often surprised by some of the recommendations I get and wonder: how does Facebook make these? I have looked over some of the suggested names and see that there are some with whom I have a connection based off of “Friends of Friends” but what about the names that I don’t recognize at all? Where do they come from? And even more important, who is Facebook recommending that kids become friends with?
Many people are asking themselves the same question and I’ve done some research on this subject. It turns out that Facebook saves your imported contact lists and based on email addresses you have uploaded, it suggests friends even if you didn’t choose to add them yourself. Facebook also uses other people’s contact lists to figure out possible relationships based on mutual contacts! As long as your friends have your contact information – i.e. email address – Facebook can use this to send you Friend Suggestions.
Even if you yourself have chosen to not upload your contact list, your friends may not have done the same and their lists will therefore generate suggestions that will still come your way. Thereissomething you can do to help limit the number of questionable suggestions. These are also steps you can take with your kids on their accounts to limit possible strangers or adults who might be suggested to them as friends:
- Log into your Facebook account and go to your Privacy Settings.
- In theHow You Connectsection, click on Edit Settings.
- Here, you can adjust the settings for Who can look up your profile by name or contact info. The options are Everyone, Friends of Friends or Friends.
- You can also adjust the settings for Who can send you friend requests. The only choices for this setting are Everyone and Friends of Friends. I would recommend Friends of Friends because Everyone will only open you or your children up to the entire online community.
Specifying these settings is all about choices – if you choose to let Facebook allow old friends, classmates, co-workers, etc. to find you then there is a good chance that they will! The same goes for your children’s privacy settings. If theirPrivacyandHow You Connectsettings aren’t secure and as private as possible, there is a chance that the wrong people might contact them.
What Privacy Settings do you have on your account? Have you gone through the different settings with your kids to make sure their accounts are as secure and private as possible?