Ultimately, when it boils down to it, there are no guarantees. I worked for Facebook and quit briefly in 2009 and not much longer after found my profile had been ‘hacked’, subsequently deleted by Facebook mods, and never to be returned. So believe me when I say I do understand the frustration. It happens and even my appeals sent to the proper places I now send people who have theirs returned, mine was not. However, keeping your accounts the safest is relatively simple. I am going to share a document from my group but I also encourage you to check out the resources at the end as well.
Tips for Protecting Your Pages and Accounts
Adult Listing – If you are posting any content that could be considered offensive by the insane standards we all know are bullshit, set your page to 18+. When you set this you will lose fans, but those fans are the reason your reports will pass into banning, 18+ is probably best for anyone not posting fluffy bunnies.
Use Entertainer Categories – Edit Page > Update Info > Basic Information. Here you alter the top categories. Some are Other > Just for Fun ** People > Entertainer ** People > Public Figure
However, using “Education” as a category Companies & Organizations > Education ** Local Businesses > Education ** is far better to use if you are educating on topics (like breastfeeding) but only if you are providing educational content.
Lastly, if you have an external website or blog that is named the same as your page, always use Websites & Blogs > (then Entertainment, Personal Blog, whatever category is most relevant). Facebook really likes external links, so be sure to put them in all the relevant slots on your profile as well. It *does* matter.
Use an Idle Admin with Full admin access – If at all possible, either use a proxy IP or ask a person you trust in an entirely different area of the country, or the world, to create the account for you and turn it over to you. Once you have it, give it full admin access, log out and leave it idle. Always. Only log back onto it if all of your page admins are banned.
Do not chat as your page – Create your status, post your photo and then get on your personal account.
Trolls – If someone makes a direct threat of reporting, or if you get their report blurb, immediately ban them from your page. Period. If you are really serious, add the terms that apply to your moderation block list. I’d say “I just reported your page” is a pretty safe one to add for even the most lenient folks.
Extra Protection for Personal Accounts
A friend I work with at the EFF wrote this earlier this year. There is not much I could add to it. It’s a bit about the new graph search features as well as additional methods for protecting yourself, hiding your likes, etc.
What’s public on my profile?
Click on the lock in the top menu bar, and under “Who can see my stuff?” click “View As.” This will take you to the public view of your profile. Here you can see exactly what information, photos, and posts are available to the public. If there’s anything you don’t want the whole Facebook universe to be able to see, you can change individual settings to hide particular items.
How do I hide my general information?
Go to your profile page and click “Update Info.” You can control who is able to see what personal information you’ve listed—and if they’re able to see it, they’re able to search it.
Who can see my posts, both past and future?
You can access your privacy settings by clicking on the lock in the top menu bar, then clicking “See More Settings.” From here, you can choose your audience for future posts (including photos), and you can also limit who has access to previous posts that were more widely accessible.
How do I hide my photo albums?
Go to your profile page and click on “Photos,” then “Albums.” You can configure who has access to each album.
Note that tagging others in a photo by default gives their friends the ability to see that photo. Also note that removing a photo from your Timeline does not remove it from being searched, especially if it is someone else’s photo.
In order to make sure that photo is not searchable, you must detag yourself or report the photo. Facebook has another great video about how to do just this. To detag yourself, click on a photo, and on the bottom of the picture click on “Options.” Next, click “Report/Remove Tag.” This gives you the option to remove your tag, as well as to notify the poster that you’d like the photo to be taken down.
How do I hide my “Likes”?
Go to your profile page and click on “Likes.” Click “Edit” on the top right. From there, you can edit who can see your liked pages in each individual category.
Do I actually “Like” these things?
While you are configuring your “Likes,” we encourage you to take a moment to reassess the pages you have listed. A few years later, you may not like “Free Booze Fridays” anymore. Unliking is as simple as going to a particular page, hovering your mouse over “Liked,” and clicking “Unlike.”
Update: How do I hide my friends and relationships?
Besides locking down your own personal information, it turns out that your friends and relationships can appear in searches associated with you. Because they have no control over how they appear in such searches, we strongly encourage you to do the altruistic thing and lock down your friendship settings. Here’s how to set your privacy settings to keep your friendships and relationships—and therefore related search results—limited in visibility to only whom you want.
First, go to your profile and click on “Friends.” On the top right of the page, click on the “Edit” button. This allows you to select who can see your friend list.
Next, you should adjust the settings of your relationships and family associations. Go to your profile and click “Update Info,” then scroll down to “Family” on the bottom left. When you click “Edit,” you can choose the specific privacy settings for each relationship.
While this is certainly not the extent of privacy that you can create for your account, this is all that is required for you to avoid triggering the TOS in the areas of posting on your personal profile as well as any pages you administrate. Of course, some of them can be quite subjective such as the “Post only as your personal account” issue. Posting as your page leaves you more open to reports going through since doing so supplies you with an anonymity that can sometimes trigger Facebook into shutting your page down until you snail mail them an actual copied picture of your state I.D.
Don’t forget to check out some of these great resources:
- Protecting Your Privacy on the New Facebook – NYTimes.com
- How to Protect Your Privacy from Facebook’s Graph Search
- How to Protect Your Privacy from Facebook’s Latest Invasion
- Staying Private on the New Facebook