Three cool tools for restoring your Facebook privacy

None of them come from Facebook, naturally. Still, they'll help protect you until Facebook gets its privacy act together.

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Well, it seems all this complaining about Facebook’s laissez faire attitude toward its users’ privacy has finally gotten their attention. According to published reports, the company called an “all hands meeting” to discuss the controversy last week. And what has come of that meeting? Apparently a lot of soul searching, renting of garments, and gnashing of teeth, per a report in the Wall Street Journal. But otherwise, a whole lot of nothing.

[ Facebook's privacy controls are seriously broken ]

So leave it to some clever entrepreneurs to do what Facebook has so far refused to do: Put back the privacy protections Facebook just took away. And they do it in an ingeniously simple way.

 Privacy Scanner for Facebook

First up, there’s ReclaimPrivacy, which can scan your Facebook settings and let you know where you’re at risk. Simply visit the site and drag the free “Scan for Privacy” button up to your browser’s bookmarks toolbar. Log into Facebook, click the bookmark, and it instantly analyzes your privacy settings in a popup window, letting you know what’s “secure” and where you may be at risk.

Of course, Scan for Privacy leaves it up to you to decide how to change your settings. If you want to lock down your Facebook profile completely, there’s Untangle’s SaveFace. It installs in an identical fashion to ReclaimPrivacy – visit the SaveFace site and drag the icon to your toolbar. This time when you log in and click the bookmark, it changes all your settings to “friends only.”

Untangle's SaveFace

Personally, I don’t want everything on my Facebook page to be “friends only,” so I went back and changed some settings (like for my blog posts) to be more public. But that’s far easier than having to manually tweak each setting, which is Facebook’s only solution.

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