Facebook-related privacy concerns have been around almost from the first day Facebook opened. Justified or not, Facebook has been under the magnifying glass in regards to anything that has to do with privacy. Many people tend to forget that no matter what their privacy settings are, everything they do on Facebook is visible to Facebook. Even if you choose your status updates to be seen just by a few people, Facebook can still use it for their own agenda.
is a tool that helps you solve just this problem, and adds an extra security layer to all of your Facebook communications.
To start with uProtect.it, head over to theand sign up to the service.
uProtect it can be used either as an add-on (Chrome/Firefox) or as a bookmarklet. After you sign up and install it, you’ll need to log into Facebook. uProtect.it will now automatically appear at the top of your Facebook account.
You can choose to turn uProtect.it off at any time. You don’t have to visit the website for this – there’s a big shiny on/off switch at the top right of the green bar. So if you’re sick of it trying to protect you, simply switch it off. The green bar will remain there so you can turn it back on at any time. If you want to get rid of the green bar altogether, you’d need to sign out of uProtect.it.
Protecting Your Communications
When uProtect.it is up and running, every time you try posting a new status or comment, you’ll see a somewhat different interface than you’re used to.
uProtect.it adds two buttons: Control and Protect My Message. The first gives you access to your friends list where you can choose who will be able to view this status or comment. You can pick and choose your friends, and also add an expiration date to the comment. Clicking on “Protect My Message” will post your protected message.
A protected message will appear as a link to everyone, but only the people you chose will actually get access to the message itself. This is what a protected message will look like to everyone:
The reason the word “Hello” is visible to everyone, is because I used some syntax. If there are parts of the message you wish or need to be visible to everyone, simply add hash tags before each of them. So for example, you can write: #Please #read #this: let’s meet tomorrow at 8PM at the bar.
If your friends already have uProtect.it installed, and they were chosen to see the message, the message will simply appear in their feed and they won’t have to click anything. The only sign will be a small lock icon on the right side.
If they don’t have the add-on, they will have to click the link in order to view the message. If they’re on the allowed list, uProtect.it will display the message to them and prompt them to install the plugin as well.
On the same line, you can post pictures and post on people’s walls, and hide those too from the general public and from Facebook.
When you log onto uProtect.it you’ll gain access to some settings you can play around with. These are located on the actual uProtect.it website, which you can access from your Facebook page at any time by clicking the “visit uProtect.it” button.
The first thing you can view is your dashboard. Here you can see all the protected message you’ve sent plus their expiration dates. You can delete messages or click to view them. On the right you will also get a message count and a count of how many of your friends joined the service.
Earlier, I showed you how you can pick and choose friends for each protected post. But if you have a set group of friends you usually want to send these to, you can define it in the settings. Here you can set up your default permissions: what friends will be able to see your messages.
If your Facebook privacy is really important to you, uProtect.it is a really nice and effective tool. I did encounter some bugs when trying to use two Facebook users under the same browser, but most people will probably not come across them.
While uProtect.it really is a nice tool, I still think people could simply send an e-mail if they want to say something important and private. Not everything in the world has to go through Facebook.
What do you think? Will you use uProtect.it or is it better simply not to use Facebook for these things? Let us know in the comments!