ALERT: Spring Clean Your Facebook Account

Declutterring your Facebook account is not only good for organization, but it can potentially reduce your exposure to possible security risks. The more stuff you gather, the bigger the risk for malware and spam.

Each of us serves as the frontline defense for our own Facebook accounts. The counteroffensive to malware and spam consist of keeping track of friends and apps, ensuring your friends lists are organized and prioritized, and accepting friend requests from people you actually know, understanding it’s not a race to score the biggest number.

Tagging friends, status updates and un-friending are other options to clear the air; just don’t lose patience – it may take clean-up time now, but later you’ll appreciate your organizational efforts and simply keeping things in their place. Once you’ve sorted out your friends lists feel free to refuse application requests, which access your basic information, your profile and your friends’ information.

Apps multiply in a hurry, clogging things up and posing security risks. Tighten down your settings to restrict access to particular data and then let apps in more carefully, as you go.

Even though Facebook continues to weed out technological n’er-do-wells, hackers, spammers and malware creators keep coming up with new ways to infiltrate the site. Blithely okaying new applications requesting permission to access your account sets you up for trouble. They rely on the odds that you’ll get careless and let ’em in without fully investigating. Check ’em out, and when in doubt, just say no.

Finally, just like cleaning out your closet at home, when you visit Facebook again, there will be order and less clutter. And also like your wardrobe, you can’t clean it once and forget it. This will be an ongoing process because you’ll agree to new apps and friends, eventually cluttering your page with extra stuff. Set a regular maintenance time on your calendar to repeat the process and de-clutter your page. Keeping the task manageable will ensure a better Facebook experience.

Readers, do you any other tips for keeping it clean?