FacebookIn a previous post in this blog – called “Why Twitter is for finding new friends and Facebook is for keeping-up with them” – I told you that you shouldn’t go looking for “friends” through Facebook, as you are risking your sensitive information posted to your Facebook profile with every person you add as a friend in Facebook.

But there going to be people who are requesting to add you as a friend in Facebook. You can’t tell whether they are just “collecting friends” randomly, or really intended to connect with you. Obviously you can’t – and you shouldn’t – ignore all the friend requests you are getting.

Regardless of whether you wanted to add a person as a friend or s/he wanted to add you, s/he can view all of your publicly posted information in your Facebook profiles, and your other friends’ information in some cases (if those friends are allowing their information to be viewed by friends of friends.).

So, how to remain safe with friend requests from unknown people in Facebook?

1. Visit the profile of requester before accepting friend request.

Take a look...Go to s/his profile and see whether it looks trustworthy. But remember you can’t really judge things by it’s appearance at the same time. Look for mutual friends, interests and how complete s/his profile is. Most “real” persons are likely to have a more filled and a meaningfully managed profile.

It is bad that Facebook don’t allow us to see in details of the profiles of our requesters before accepting the request. This is really a place Facebook team have to think again.

2. Create a friends list called “Unknown” and add unknown people to it.

ListFacebook offers you a way to keep your friends categorized; Facebook Friends Lists.

You can categorize your friends in many ways:

  • School
  • Work
  • eFriends
  • Neighbours
  • Family

Here is read for you about Facebook Friends Lists and how to create and manage them:

“HOW TO: Create Friend Lists on Facebook” – Mashable; http://mashable.com/2009/10/09/create-facebook-friend-lists/

Now you know what Facebook Friends Lists and how to deal with them.

So, what I suggest is, Create a list called “Unknown” and add people you really don’t know to that list.

You have to go to Account -> Edit Friends in Facebook regularly and update your “Unknown Friends List”.

Update means…

  • Add people who really wanted to keep up with you to suitable list and remove from Unknown list.
  • Unfriend all others by clicking unfriend button next to each’s name.

Remember…

Remember that regardless of they are in unknown friends list or not, they have full access to your Facebook profile as any trusted friend has.

Suggestion to Facebook:

Facebook should officially offer a “Unknown People’s List”, where listed people have minimum access to our profiles.