Test your Facebook privacy settings: Here's how

Want a simple way to scan your Facebook privacy settings and fix any problems? Here's the 60-second solution.

We've been talking about Facebook's privacy mess for days now. We all know the story, right? Privacy controls are broken, everyone's getting irritated, Facebook's not too concerned, blah flippidy-freakin' blah.

Don't get me wrong: That's all important information. What's been lacking all this time, though, is a simple fix -- an easy way to make sure your personal Facebook data is actually protected. Sure, you could go on a scavenger hunt to find Facebook's 170-plus privacy options scattered throughout a dozen different pages. But even then, you're likely to miss something in the virtual labyrinth the company's created.

Today, there's a better way. Behold: the one-stop privacy fix-up tool for your Facebook profile.

The Facebook Privacy Scanner

The tool is called ReclaimPrivacy, and its name pretty much tells you what you need to know. Using it is simple: Just surf over to ReclaimPrivacy.org and look for the link that says "Scan for Privacy." Add that link as a bookmark in your browser, either by dragging it onto a bookmark toolbar or by right-clicking it and selecting the "Bookmark" option.

Now head over to Facebook. Sign into your account, then open the bookmarked link.

This will cause ReclaimPrivacy's Facebook privacy scanner to open right at the top of your current Facebook window. Within a few seconds, ReclaimPrivacy will scan through six areas of potential privacy concern and let you know how your account stacks up.

ReclaimPrivacy analyzes everything from your personal information controls to your "instant personalization" settings. It even checks account settings that affect what your friends could inadvertently share about you without your knowledge.

For each area, ReclaimPrivacy will give you a green ("good"), yellow ("caution"), or red ("insecure") ranking. If you hit yellow or red, it'll provide you with specific steps to fix the problem so you don't have to waste time searching for the right setting.

After seeing some of the very personal details now floating around out there (hint: someone lost their virginity this weekend), that's one function well-worth "liking."

Despite his immaculate privacy settings, JR Raphael frequently embarrasses himself on Facebook. Come say hello: facebook.com/The.JR.Raphael

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JR Raphael

PC World (US online)

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