If You Don’t Want Facebook Telling People Where You Are – Disable Places

So, you’ve heard about the new Facebook Places, right? It’s a Foursquare style feature that lets you check in at whatever super cool place you happen to be in so everyone knows how super cool you are. Here’s the hitch: other people can check you in too.

Facebook Places allows your friends to tag you when checking into a place, much as they might tag you in a picture. You are notified when someone checks you in, just as you are when someone tags you in a picture. But, here’s my problem with this. If you didn’t already check yourself in, then perhaps you don’t want people to know where you are.

Frankly, I could see potential problems here. Let’s say you’ve called in sick to work so you could go … oh, I don’t know, watch the Atlanta Braves kick some Washington Nationals butt at 1:00p today. (Not that anyone I know would ever dream of doing such a thing.)

So, you’re at the game. You just sent a quick email to your boss letting them know that you’re feeling a little better and will be back in tomorrow. And, then, a friend spots you at the game and checks you in on Facebook. You show up to work the next day and are fired.

It could happen.

And, why did it happen? Because Facebook has defaulted your profile to allow other people to check you in.

So, here’s how to make sure other people can’t tag you on Places. Plus, how to adjust the two other Places privacy settings that Facebook has automatically defaulted as open.

First, click on the Account tab at the top right and click Privacy Settings. Select the little blue “customize settings” towards the bottom of the screen that appears.

You’ll see a list of privacy options. Under the Things Others Share category, disable “Friends can check me in to Places.” Now, only you can broadcast your location.

You can also choose who can see your check-ins. Click the “Places I check in” pulldown under the Things I Share category. The default is “friends only.” Selecting “Customize” brings up a pop-up where you can exclude entire networks, individual people, or everyone.

Finally, you may want to disable the “People Here Now” feature. “People Here Now” allows any user checked in at a location to see who else is checked in there—even if they’re not friends. Make sure the box is unchecked next to “Include me in ‘People Here Now’ after I check in.”

There. Now you are free to roam where you wish and pretend you are somewhere else.

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