1. Signing up
Your own name. You should use your own name on facebook or your nickname if people use it more commonly, to sign up. It’s important to ensure that your friends, family and colleagues can find you easily.
2. Your email
Facebook sends out a lot of notifications once you start signing up with various groups and fan pages, apps and even comments. But people can also find you by your email, so you should probably use a personal email account. Check it frequently for friend requests and more. It has to be real though, because Facebook uses it and sometimes your mobile number to verify who you are.
3. Read the terms and conditions
You should always read the terms and conditions on any site, and Facebook is no exception, though, it should be noted that Facebook frequently updates it’s TOS causing a lot of outrage in the community. Know where your rights are and read their documentation.
4. Search your email
In some cases when you sign up for Facebook, especially if you use a ‘free’ email system such as hotmail or Gmail, Facebook can search your email addresses and see if anyone in your address book is already on Facebook.
5. Profile information – school, university, company
The first piece of profile information Facebook asks for is your School (leaving year), University (leaving year) and Company – this starts the first basic groups links so you can find Alumni and colleagues from work – if you don’t want to find anyone there, leave it empty and click skip.
6. Profile information – picture
Your photo or avatar on fb doesn’t need to be of you, but it’s usually a good idea to use a shot of yourself so that people that aren’t sure they’ve found you can add you. Many people change their profile photos weekly though, so you can use just about any image you hold copyright to.
7. Profile information – basic information
Once you’ve gotten into Facebook, you can fill in any or all personal information on the basic information box, and depending on your security settings, people will be able to see this – it’s sometimes the difference between knowing whether it’s you or another person that they’ll friend, so this information can be useful.
8. Profile information – is Facebook a dating site?
One of the core pieces of information that Facebook asks about on signup is what you’re ‘looking’ for on the site, along with your religious standing. Don’t be afraid to mark ‘friendship’ in that box, even if you are actively seeking a relationship – it makes little difference to people adding you. Facebook is not a dating site, though there are groups on there for finding partners.
9. Profile information – personal information
Many people don’t list all of their hobbies- instead list the ones you’re interested in attracting friends for. If you’ve got a ‘guilty pleasure’ remember that people may be able to access your information, even before you add them, so you may not want to publish that. The boxes in this section are entirely optional.
One of the boxes you can fill in is ‘contact information’. Be aware that depending on your security settings (see security and privacy) you may then place your ID out in the ‘open’ which can open you up to spam or bot contact.
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