Facebook is a convenient and valuable way to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. We understand the importance of staying in touch while keeping your identity secure. The guide below will get you on Facebook, help you connect and make sure your privacy settings are set to keep your identity safe. If you already have an account, jump down to #5 and check your privacy settings.
Here are 7 steps to get started on Facebook:
1. Create a profile
Your first step will be to create a profile. Go to facebook.com and fill out the sign up form right on the home page! Create your account with your email address instead of your phone number, for privacy reasons.
2. Choose a secure password
Pick a password using at least one capital letter, one lowercase letter and one number. For added security use characters such as exclamation points (!) or at signs (@). Avoid using names, addresses, birthdates and other personal information in your password.
3. Add a photo
When you are directed to the welcome page, you will be asked to select a profile picture. Select the “Add Picture” button and search for a photo you’d like to use as your profile picture. Look for a clear image of your face without a busy background for the best results.
4. Confirm your account
Facebook will send a confirmation email to the email address you used to create your account. This is a short email with a button saying “Confirm Your Account.” Click on the link and you will be taken to a Facebook page. You may be asked for a confirmation code when you get back to Facebook. If you are, look for the code in the confirmation email.
5. Set your privacy
To keep your identity secure, it’s important to adjust your privacy settings. Click on the small down arrow at the top right corner and select settings. From there, select Privacy from the menu on the left and adjust your settings. We recommend setting visibility of your posts and profile to friends only. There are four main privacy settings on Facebook:
- Friends – only people you have added as a friend on Facebook will be able to see your content (recommended)
- Friends of Friends – connections of your friends will be able to see your content.
- Public – anyone with or without a Facebook account will be able to see your content.
- Only Me – you will be the only one able to see your content.
Privacy Setting Example:
Timeline and Tagging Setting Example:
6. Find your friends and family
In the white bar at the top of any Facebook page, search by name to connect with friends and family. When you find them, click on their name and click on the Add Friend button at the top right of their page.
Once they approve your request, you become Facebook friends. After you have a few friends, Facebook will start suggesting friends. These are simply a suggestion and you only have to invite them to be your friend if you want to. We recommend starting slowly and being very discerning with who you accept as a friend on Facebook. Never accept a friend request from someone you don’t know personally.
7. Understand the basics
As you get started on Facebook, here are a few basics to help you get started:
- Posts – To write a post, simply login to Facebook and start typing in the white box at the top of the page with your picture next to it. You can share your thoughts, add a picture, or copy and paste a link to an interesting article.
- Likes/Reactions – Facebook is a social platform and one way you can interact with others is to like or react to their posts. Look for the “like” button at the bottom left corner of each post or hover over it with your cursor to select a different reaction.
- Shares – Is there a post you really like? Share it with your friends by hitting the share button found to the right of the comment button. You will be offered the option to write a post or just share to your timeline.
- Comments – To the right of the like button you will find the comment button. If you want to leave a response to a post, hit the comment button and type in the comment box. Then hit enter to post.
- Notifications – Facebook will let you know when someone likes or comments on one of your posts. These will show up as red bubbles at the top right of any Facebook page.
- Pages – Facebook pages are for businesses. If you have businesses you would like to follow, visit their page and click the follow button. You find them the same way you find friends, in the white search box at the top of the page.
Other Tips to Keep Your Identity Secure
- Avoid posting when you are on vacation or if your spouse is out of town. You don’t want to alert possible thieves to your absence.
- Never share your home address or phone number in posts.
- Consider hiding your birthdate from view by going to your profile, then Contact & Basic info and selecting Only Me as your setting.
- If you have someone in your life who you never want to be able to find you on Facebook, go to your Settings, select Blocking and add their name or email address.
By setting up your account to be secure from the start, you have taken an important step in keeping your identity safe while staying connected. Start slow and don’t be afraid to turn down friend requests. Facebook has a lot of features, but we suggest you go at your own pace and use it in a way that benefits you. Have fun connecting with your loved ones!