Securing Your Facebook Privacy as a Small Business Owner

As a consultant dedicated to helping entrepreneurs successfully start and grow their small businesses, I always advise my clients to be extremely cautious about their privacy settings on social media platforms like Facebook. Unlike individual users, business owners need to be even more vigilant about locking down the security and visibility of certain sensitive company information accessible on their personal profiles.

Why Facebook Privacy Matters for Your Business

With over 2.9 billion active monthly users, Facebook contains a treasure trove of customer data, financial information, company insights and other intellectual property that cybercriminals are actively trying to access every second of every day.

Small businesses are especially vulnerable on Facebook – according to a 2019 survey, 43% of small companies have experienced a social media security breach resulting in lasting reputational damage, loss of customers, or even company closure. Compared to large corporations, most small businesses lack the dedicated IT expertise and resources needed to keep up with Facebook‘s frequently changing privacy policies.

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to safeguard sensitive information that could critically impact your livelihood if exposed. This includes:

  • Customer data (emails, names, addresses, purchase history)
  • Financial information (bank accounts, invoices, tax documents)
  • Business plans and strategy (expansion initiatives, product roadmaps)
  • Trade secrets and intellectual property (proprietary processes, recipes)

By failing to limit access to this type of proprietary content, you increase the risk of irreparable damage through security breaches, espionage by competitors, and permanent loss of trust from your customers.

Adjust Your Privacy Settings

The first line of defense is tightening your personal Facebook privacy configurations. Start by limiting general profile visibility:

Restrict Access to Posts

  1. Click the arrow icon in the top right and select “Settings & Privacy” then “Settings”
  2. Under “Privacy,” click “Edit” next to “Who can see your future posts?”
  3. Select “Friends” or “Only me” to limit access

By default, all new posts are visible to the public. Business owners should restrict access to only close connections or themselves to avoid revealing company activities.

Limit Old Posts Visibility

Follow the same steps to click “Limit Past Posts” and restrict access to previous posts. Be aware that information shared publicly in the past can still be accessed, copied and disseminated even if you limit visibility now.

Review Other Areas of Exposure

Likewise, evaluate and limit visibility of other sensitive areas like your friends list, profile information, personal stories and your activity log. The tighter your security here, the better.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

While adjusting privacy settings limits Facebook access on the front end, I always advise clients to enable two-factor authentication for added security:

  1. Click the down arrow > Settings & Privacy > Security and Login
  2. Under "Use two-factor authentication" click Edit and follow prompts

With two-factor enabled, accessing your Facebook requires entering a unique code from your phone in addition to your login credentials. This protects your account even if someone obtains your password.

Social Media Policies for Employees

For businesses with multiple team members accessing company Facebook pages, I recommend clearly defining social media policies around privacy:

  • Specify exactly what can and cannot be posted related to customers, financials, operations and other intellectual property
  • Designate page roles and privledges based on seniority
  • Audit activity logs on a weekly basis to confirm policy compliance

By proactively establishing and enforcing guidelines approved by leadership, you promote a culture of privacy that could prevent a junior employee from accidentally posting something damaging.

Regularly Review Settings

As Facebook platforms evolve, new risks emerge while old loopholes get closed. Stay updated by reviewing your privacy settings and activity log every month. Additionally, evaluate any third-party app access privileges to confirm they comply with business data policies.

By taking a vigilant, proactive approach to Facebook privacy as a business owner, you significantly reduce the risk of irreparable damage through security breaches. Feel free to reach out if you need any personalized consulting on securing your company‘s online presence across social media.