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How to Separate Facebook Personal Profile from Business Page (pt.1)

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The new facebook upgrade has given page admin better opportunity in securing their profile from facebook pages. Please refer to #4 in this post ‘7+ Major Tips in Enhancing Your Upgraded Facebook Page’.

So now, if you have associated your personal profile with a Facebook page, don’t mind using both platforms to boost your business brand and visibility, Facebook is doing you a huge favor with its revolution. But what if we are to separate private network circle from business profile? Is that even possible?

We can modify our privacy level and adhere to several precautions, but there is no 100% satisfactory when it comes to separating the two. A few clients have approached me with this issue, therefore I decided to divide this subject into two sections. This week we will emphasize on privacy settings while the next, discuss the important measures to be taken while handling both apps.


Part 1: How to Protect Personal Profile from Facebook Page


The only way you get to separate a fan page from any personal profile is to create a business account.:


Advise for New Users –

To create a business account:

  • NEVER sign up a new profile or click ‘create a profile’ while in the fan page
  • NEVER create more than ONE account on Facebook. If you already have a personal profile, DO NOT create a business account or you may violate facebook terms of use.

Updated-1 (11/09/10): It seems like to create a business account without associating to a personal profile is no longer possible. Following a discussion we had at our fan page which confirmed by this post later on, a business page will be needing a personal profile for administration purposes.


Updated-2 (29/09/10): Business account is back again (tested on 28/09/10), the option that requires us to ‘log in’ has been removed, replaced by its previous business acc registration form.


Advise for Existing Users –

If you have connected both sides, be informed there is no way to separate a fan page from a personal profile with a different login. Here are some ideas on what you can do to tighten your profile visibility and manage contacts accordingly:


Limit Profile Visibility


#1  Hide Profile from Facebook Search

The highest level of security is to hide your profile completely from Facebook Search, shield off all possibilities for business contacts to find you via Friend Finder:


Go to Account > Privacy Settings > Basic Directory Information (View Settings) > Customize ‘search for me on Facebook’.


#2  Select a Unique Username or None at all for your Profile’s Vanity URL


So you cannot be found on Facebook Search, your business contacts may still able to locate you via Username – ‘http://facebook.com/yourname’ just may give you out. Do not set one for the profile or modify it if necessary. You only have one chance to edit the profile username before the option will be hidden from you so use it cautiously:

Go to Account -> Account Settings -> Username -> Change to other username


Limit Profile Info-Sharing


#3  Protect Profile Information from Public Viewing


There are several information you can hide from strangers. Modify them properly as instructed by going through your Account -> Privacy Settings -> Basic Directory Information > View settings:

a. Hide your Friend List

If you are to protect private contacts such as close friends or family members, customize your Friend List to ‘Me Only’ or ‘Friends Only’. Be alerted that your business contacts may still reach out to your real life friends so advisable to tighten the option as suggested.

b. Hide Your Education/Work; Hometown

Unless you are using personal profile to enhance your fan page networking with other facebook contacts, otherwise better to protect the info or not fill up your Info tab unless really necessary.

c. Hide Your Interests & Other Pages Joined

If you have liked a page, most likely you will be displayed as a fan on the page via random thumbnail display. You can delete or unlike the fan pages anytime via:

Info Tab -> Edit (Likes and Interests) -> Remove.


If you insist on following these pages, hide them from you Info tab.


Sharing on Facebook:

d. Hide your Contact Information

Go to Account -> Privacy Settings -> Sharing on Facebook -> Customize Settings-> Contact Information, set the visibility to ‘Friends’ or ‘Me Only’.


Note: If you have set a vanity URL for your username, it will appear in Contact Information and there is no setting to hide it.

e. Hide your Birthday and other Personal Information

Check through the settings:

Go to Account -> Privacy Settings -> Sharing on Facebook -> Customize Settings-> Things I Share

And Info Tab -> Edit


#4  Limit Contact Ability to Your Profile


Below options require you to be selective in whom you are friend-ing on your profile.

a. Send Friend Requests

The highest level of security is ‘Friends of Friends’. It is an option set so to encourage friends to find one another. Strangers will not see the ‘Friend Request’ button until they become friends of your friends first.

b. Send Messages

The highest level of security is ‘Friends Only’. Strangers won’t be able to contact you individually.


#5  Limit the ability to be tagged or shared by friends


You cannot control what your friend is sharing, but you can certainly avoid been tagged by going through the below settings. This will prevent your profile link been exposed to public while making sure no outrageous videos or images attached to your profile:

Go to Account -> Privacy Settings -> Sharing on Facebook -> Customize Settings -> Things Others Share

Your friend my still able to use status-tagging on you, at least you can remove the tag as soon as you found it on the wall:


#6  Check and Remove Unnecessary Facebook Applications


Make it a regular habit to check on your Facebook Applications. Remove the game apps by clicking ‘x’ to avoid intrusion or hacking. Be skeptical in all games and quizzes sending your way. Ignore or block the apps for good so they won’t appear on you Wall posts. Go through each section as most of them are opt-in by default:

Go to Privacy Settings -> Applications and Websites -> Edit Your Settings

a. Game & Application Activity

To prevent your recent activity been shown on the app’s dashboard, customize the visibility to ‘Only Me’.

b. Info accessible through your friends

You can set which information you allow to be shared by applications/games/websites when your friends use them. For the info you preset as ‘Everyone’ in the Privacy Setting, the app can automatically obtain the info unless you remove or turn off the platform applications.

c. Instant Personalization

Untick the checkbox if you do not want to be included in the relevant information shown to your friends when they land on Facebook partner websites and vice versa. If you still wonder why we make such a big deal out of this, read this article ‘Facebook’s Instant Personalization Is the Real Privacy Hairball’.  

d. Public Search

This involves Public Search where things you have approved to be shared with ‘Everyone’ can show up on and off Facebook, this including showing a preview of your profile as search results (see below). Do not conflict this option with the ‘Facebook Search’ in Basic Directory Information, synchronize them both.



Updated:

#7 Avoid Tagging and Exposing your ‘Places’



Facebook has announced a new geotagging feature called ‘Places’. By allowing integrations with other location-based services such as Foursquare, Gowalla etc, it enables facebook friends to tag and check in for each other. It may be a good feature to discover interesting places and claiming business premises, even so you should know there are several privacy settings that could protect you from unwanted exposures.

Go to Account -> Privacy Settings -> Sharing on Facebook -> Customize Settings -> Things I Share, and look for below settings:

  • Limit visibility of Places you checked in;
  • Prevent your profile from showing up with other checked in users;

Go to Account -> Privacy Settings -> Sharing on Facebook -> Customize Settings -> Things Others Share

  • Disallow friends to check you in without consent.


Suggested Read: A Field Guide to Using Facebook Places

Quite a lengthy procedure in protecting a personal profile right? Precautions can save you from major headaches. Watch out for the next post in which we will be discussing part 2 of separating business pages from personal profile – 11 Things You Should Know when managing them both.


Other Suggested Read : 7 Facebook Changes You Must Know in New Profile (about profile-tagging in Employers and other privacy/application settings for added features)


Now Is Your Turn…


What is the Major issue you faced when managing a facebook page connecting to a personal profile?


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