Safety tips and security guidelines for Facebook

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Given the vituperative pushback of the BBS online against those who participated in the vigil in Colombo a few weeks ago, immediate measures to secure content posted on to web based social media platforms are essential to protect one’s own privacy, and those of family, friends and colleagues. 

Engaging in liking content on Facebook, featuring articles on it, uploading photos and video, linking other social media accounts to it (like Instagram and Twitter) and commenting on others posts all expose personal information, as well as one’s network of friends and their personal information and content.

If you aren’t careful about the protection of your own information on online social media fora, the personal information of your network of ‘friends’ can be compromised. This information can be subsequently digitally manipulated in any number of ways which can put you and them in very serious trouble with the law enforcement agencies both domestically and internationally.

Given the increasing sophistication of the BBS and its ilk to produce and promote web based hate speech campaigns especially across growing numbers of Facebook groups, expect attempts to hack into, disrupt, deface and surveil emails and social media accounts of those leading and participating in pro-democracy activism and advocacy to increase.

Information below was written post-haste to help protect those attending a large rally in against hate in Colombo in late April 2013. It is the nature of online social media platforms in general and Facebook in particular to change their Terms of Service and privacy controls regularly. The predominant bias of all social media sites is to share everything openly and publicly. Privacy is not the default setting. Privacy is hard to configure, not easily attained and never guaranteed in any online social media platform – especially Facebook.

Though content on Facebook and other links are accurate at the time of writing, readers are encouraged to get in touch with the author for specific concerns over online security.

Tamil translation of this guide here. Sinhala translation can be read here.

The document can also be read on Scribd in,


Download PDFs in,

Original document on Google Docs.

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