With all the privacy issues surrounding Facebook, many people are considering quitting the site altogether. If you’re not ready to take it that far, here’s how to avoid the privacy breaches without completely deleting your account and losing touch with your friends…
Should I Quit Facebook Altogether?
We’ve all had that one friend who deactivated his/her Facebook and was never seen again, because no one could establish contact. As if the telephone, email, and IM were never invented, many people are at a loss as to how to contact you if your Facebook isn’t an easy click away. Even if the situation isn’t quite that dire, Facebook is still how a lot of people keep connected, and severing that connection completely is a big deal.
But now, privacy-minded folks have many legitimate reasons you should quit Facebook (or reasons you should but can’t go through with it), the same thing is on everyone’s mind: Is the grief of quitting worth avoiding future privacy breaches?
The Less Extreme Alternative
Luckily, there is another, more middle-of-the-road option. That’s not to say this isn’t still extreme—this isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t a tutorial about how to change your privacy settings. This is a tutorial on how to create the most minimalist Facebook profile possible, with as little information on yourself as possible, to be used only for communication between you and your friends. You won’t be able to do much on the site; you probably won’t even visit the site that often. This is not for people who want to continue using Facebook; it is for the people who are ready to up and quit tomorrow, but don’t want to miss out on the next party just because they care about their privacy. So if you’re really ready to give up wall posts, comments, Farmville, and fan pages, here’s how to proceed without falling off the face of the Earth.
Create a Disposable Email Address for Your Account
We’ve talked about disposable email addresses before, and most people probably already have one. (The idea being that if you create a second email address for free and sign up for the sketchy sites with it, you won’t have to deal with spam in your main account later on.) With all the bugs and privacy gaffes surrounding Facebook, it has certainly become one of those sites you could call sketchy.
With this email address, you can also set up notifications for messages and event invites and get all that by email (so you don’t ever have to actually “check” Facebook), and even forward it to your main email account. That way, you won’t have to check this separate one, but if something ever happens (like Facebook making your email public for 30 minutes), you can delete the disposable address, make a new one, link it with Facebook, and not have to deal with the spam forever. You can use any service to do this, but I’d personally just make a new Gmail address separate from my regular Google account, sign into it using Private Browsing mode (so you don’t sign yourself out of your regular Gmail), set up the forwarding filters, and forget it. (To set up forwarding, just log into your disposable account, click Create Filter, and set the filter to forward any email
From:facebook to your real account. If things get ugly, you can always turn the filter off.)
But wait, there’s MORE! LINK