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5 Things You Need to Know About Facebook

OK, Facebookers. We know you have questions, especially since they’re launching a bunch of new stuff. But let’s stick to the fundamentals.

Here are the five things you need to know about Facebook:

1. New game, old rules

Nothing has changed since high school: If you don’t want anyone know to anything, DON’T say it in public. What you say on your Wall, even if your settings are set to Friends only, who knows what they’re going to do with that post.

2. No oversharing

“There is a time to take things offline,” says Irene Koehler, boomer blogger of Almost Savvy, who also suggested that you think of your Wall as your front yard. Don’t state anything you don’t want your neighbors to hear. (Download Irene’s tips from her Life@50+ session right here)

3. Privacy

Be sure to keep up with the changing Privacy settings. You can control what posts, photos, videos, etc. can be seen by the public, friends or friends of friends. You can also block Friends from seeing photos that you’re tagged in or from seeing your Wall. (But I asked: Why have them as a Facebook Friend if you don’t want them to see your stuff? Food for thought.)

4. Security

Koehler says to think about the shady phone call you get at night from someone claiming to know you. Rules aren’t that different on Facebook. “It’s important to do a gut check. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.” Facebook Wall spam is just like email spam. If you don’t think your Friend would post a video on your page of a girl dancing …. He likely didn’t!

Delete the post and change your Facebook password ASAP. It’s good practice to change your password often.

5. What’s new

Facebook announced this week a slew of upcoming enhancements that will change the way you view your News Feed, Profile and Wall.

The News Feed is more real-time and compressed while postings are now separated by Top Stories (so topics, perhaps, a lot of your friends are talking about) and Recent Stories.

Don’t be alarmed by the changes. There are more to come. Just poke around and see what’s new. You’ll get used to it.