8 Biggest Facebook Mistakes

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Facebook has been known to respond when pelted with criticism over privacy issues.

Last year, Mississippi's Attorney General Jim Hood joined most other states in praising Facebook for adding more than 40 new safeguards to protect children from sexual predators and bullies.

"There were 72,000 sex offenders that had profiles on Facebook," Hood said. "Perverts are patrolling these sites."

And there's no regulating the Internet. Once you post a comment, picture or video, it never really disappears.

Is your Facebook as private as it can be? Perhaps not. Fox 29 learned from a Consumer Reports Shopsmart article, don't fall prey to these 8 big Facebook "don'ts":

1. Don't ignore privacy controls to limit access to your site.

2. Don't use easy passwords.

And two that we were unaware of:

3. Don't forget to opt out of instant personalization, and

4. Don't let search engines find you.

To check these, go to your account, then privacy settings, then applications and Web sites. The fourth option down is "instant personalization".  If it's checked, you might want to uncheck it.  "Instant personalization" allows outside applications, like Pandora and Yelp, to zero in on you.

Click back to applications to check your public search settings. If your "enable public search" box is checked, you might want to uncheck it, to ensure search engines can't find you.

Click back again to applications to check what information is accessible to your friends. Click inside to see which boxes are checked. These are items that your friends can share about you, even if they don't mean to share it.

More Facebook don'ts:

5. Don't publish your birth year. It might make it easier for someone to determine your Social Security Number.

6. Don't share your children's names, or

7. Leave children unsupervised on Facebook.

8. And if you're going on vacation, resist the temptation to post it on Facebook. It's an open invitation for a cyber criminal to visit your home when you're not home.

"The crooks are using the Internet. They're patrolling it like sharks in the water," said Hood.

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