How to Stay Safe Using MySpace Settings - dummies

How to Stay Safe Using MySpace Settings

Changing a few settings on your MySpace profile can add a level of protection to your MySpace account that goes a long way toward keeping all the Internet predators away from you and your loved one’s MySpace pages.

Set your profile to private

MySpace’s privacy settings enable you to block your full profile from users other than the people on your Friend List. Would-be viewers who aren’t on your Friend List see your profile name, default photo, gender, age, city/state or region, country, last login date, and MySpace URL – but that’s all they see.

You can change privacy settings by clicking the Settings button in the Control Panel and then selecting the Privacy link.

Require e-mail or last name to add as a friend

To limit your Friend Requests to only the people you know in the real world, select the Require Last Name or Email Address check box in the Communications Settings section of the Settings: Spam window. MySpace requires would-be friends to enter either the e-mail address or the last name you entered when signing up for the site before it’ll send through a Friend Request from any user.

Approve comments

The Communications Settings section of the Settings: Spam window allows you to approve any comment your friend leaves for your profile page before it’s posted. Rather than placing the comment directly onto your page, this setting sends you a message asking you to approve or deny the comment before it posts for all to see.

Limit access to your blogs

Blogs have made the art of journal writing a public exercise. Fortunately, you can select your preferred level of privacy on the screen where you make your blog entry:

  • Public blog entries are readable by all MySpace users.

  • Diary blog entries are viewable only by you.

  • Friends blog entries are viewable only by the people on your Friend List.

  • Preferred List entries carve your audience down to a select few people, such as your family members.

Keep your name out of search

The Name option on the Profile Edit screen allows you to remove your real first and last names so they aren’t associated with your profile. This change keeps other users from finding you if they search your name with MySpace’s search tool.

Hide your photos

You can turn the photos you upload to MySpace into a private album that’s viewable only by you. On the Upload Your Photo page, select the Only You option under the Allow Your Photos to Be Viewable By section. The change makes your photo page accessible only through your MySpace account. The option also removes your default photo from your MySpace profile page.

Limit your instant message access

MySpace’s Instant Messaging (IM) tools can be a pain if you receive messages from users you don’t know. To limit your IM availability:

  • Hide your online status: MySpace lets other users know when you’re on the site, so deselecting the Online Now option in the Settings: Privacy window blocks MySpace from reporting your online status.

  • Change your instant message privacy settings: The Settings: Spam window allows you to let MySpace know whether you want to get IM invitations from just anyone. If you select the check box, only your friends can send you an IM invitation.

Filter group invites

Avoid the possible guilt-by-association that might come from joining just any group by selecting the Allow Only My Friends And: option in the Communications Settings section of the Settings: Spam window. This option makes sure only your friends can recommend group membership to you.

Block users

Go to the annoying user’s profile page and click the Block User link, located in the user’s Contact box. After verifying the block, add the user to a list that prevents them from communicating with you via MySpace.