At The Tech Shop, we get a lot of people coming in who want to use Facebook, but aren’t quite sure the best practices to do so. They’re not written down on Facebook’s site and seem more like unwritten rules, so today we would like to clear up some of them in plain and simple English.

Only accept friends request from people you know

Facebook allows you to connect with people and grow your online friend’s circle. It’s a wonderful tool that brings us all together, but many people accept all ‘friend requests’ regardless of who they are and whether they know them. This can open you up to scams. When you receive a ‘friend request’ on Facebook, consider only accepting them from people you know and wish to connect with.

Use private messages

If you are planning a dinner for a small group of friends and you would like to send an invite to them, Facebook sounds like the perfect way to do it, but you don’t want to post it on your wall and have unexpected guests arrive. In this case, you can use private messaging to send messages with invitations directly to those who you wish to invite.

Keep a record of your password

This one harks back to a previous issue where I mentioned you should keep your passwords secure. It’s always worth reminding people to keep passwords safe, in the event of your account being logged out by Facebook for security reasons.

Beware of hoaxes

Social media works really well at spreading news around very quickly, but it can also spread hoaxes around very quickly by the same token. Always be sure to fact-check things before pressing the ‘Share’ button. The easiest way to ‘fact check’ is to type the headline into Google. If it’s a hoax, Google will tell you.