Facebook timeline feature becomes mandatory
Up until now Facebook's 'timeline' - a new look for your profile page - has been voluntary, but the site has announced that it will become mandatory for all users over the next few weeks.
The 'new look' exposes a user's entire history on the site, and has been criticised for showing off pictures and posts which users might not want others to see.
The new look also pairs with 'timeline apps', such as Spotify, which post on users' profiles when they listen to a song, read an article online, or visit somewhere.
Timeline appsWhen paired with Timeline apps such as Spotify, users' timelines will be filled with information on what they listen to, which films they watched, where they have eaten out and more. A user listening to Spotify on a smartphone, for instance, will default to posting every song to their Timeline for all to see.
Whilst some sites published guides on how to hide this content, once the apps are installed it can be difficult to find the settings and opt-out. Tech site CNET warns, "Once you install an app and authorize it to post stories on your profile and News Feed, it'll never ask for your permission again."
How to protect your privacy when your profile switches to timelineDespite many users being shocked by not having a choice over using timeline and by how rapidly the feature will become compulsory, in a few weeks all users will have to come to terms with the new profile.
In the seven days you get to review your 'new look' you can make sure your privacy settings are as you want them to be.
Any posts, photos, status updates or activity even from your first days on Facebook will be visible. You will have to go through manually and delete or hide any of these that you don't want others to be able to see, otherwise they will be shown publicly by default.
If you do choose to enable any timeline apps, remember to read their privacy policies carefully and be especially wary of any which publicly post your exact location.
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