Facebook is more than just a social networking platform; it's a system-wide powerhouse that now integrates with a myriad of other sites. With a Facebook account handy, you may sign up for and log in to Twitter, CNN and numerous other sites. Mind you, there are some risks to keep in mind, especially if privacy is a major concern for you.
Signing Up for Facebook
To get your own profile, friends list, and the ability to share photos with all your new and old friends, you'll need to sign up for an account. Start by going to Facebook.com, where you will be able to access the following screen:
Enter your first name, last name, e-mail address, password, gender and birthday. Then click the "Sign Up" button. You'll then need to log in to your e-mail account and verify your address. Once that's complete, you may sign into Facebook or any other site that integrates with Facebook.
Signing In To Facebook
Once you have an account set up, you can sign in from the front page of the Facebook website. You'll just need to enter your e-mail address and the password you chose when you were signing up. As with most sites, you have the option to check a "Remember Me" box so that you don't have to enter your e-mail address and password every time you want to log in (and for those who are regular users of several social networking sites such as MySpace, LiveJournal and Facebook, that's a definite time saver!).
And in case you forget your password, you can just use the "Forget your password?" button to have it e-mailed to you. Keep in mind that you'll first need to help Facebook determine your identity by entering your email address, username or a friend's name:
Signing In to Other Sites
Many sites have simplified the process of creating an account by integrating with Facebook and thus setting up what is known as a 'universal sign in'. This allows you to log in with your FB account and thus avoid having to re-enter your name or birth date, let alone re-upload your picture.
Keep in mind, however, that this exposes you to some risks. If you use your Facebook for personal purposes and you then integrate your FB with a professional site like LinkedIn, you will essentially be opening up your personal life to prospective employers.
Note that with certain sites, such as LinkedIn, you must first create a custom profile and then link it to your FB. With other sites, such as GetGlue and Pinterest, you can literally sign up by just signing into your Facebook account:
Facebook Privacy Concerns
Before you join the Facebook revolution, familiarize yourself with the privacy risks. Unless you manually turn on account privacy, your Facebook profile will be available for anybody in the world to view. To access these controls, follow the steps listed below.
- Log in to your Facebook account.
- Click the downward-facing arrow in the upper-right corner of your profile screen and select the "Privacy Settings" button.
From here, you'll be able to adjust who can see your status updates and photos, which applications are allowed to interact with your profile and more.
Problems Signing Signing In
If you're having problems signing in, you'll be happy to know that Facebook has a very thorough help page covering the reasons you may be having a difficult time with the Facebook sign in. Some of the topics include:
- I can't log in to my account.
- I get an "Operation Abortion" error when I log in.
- I'm getting a "Facebook Will Be Back Soon" message when I try to log in.
If you can't find the answers to your questions, you can still send a message to the Facebook support staff so that they may directly assist you with your problem - but you'll only see that option after you've spent some time browsing through the site's help function.
What You Can't Sign Up With
Sorry, you Paris Hiltons of the world; you'll have to use your real name. Facebook has a filter that won't allow you to sign in with obviously false names. And if you have a Ph. D.? Sorry, you'll have to advertise it some other way, because it's not allowed in your sign in name. Neither is your title, such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc. Keep it simple.
You also won't be able to use Facebook with any other browser besides Firefox (Mac and PC), Safari (Mac), or Internet Explorer (PC). For more password information, visit the Facebook help page, available right from their homepage.
Welcome to the Club
That's it, folks. You're now a permanent member of the Facebook club. You can chat with old high school friends, reunite with former lovers, look up teachers and make new friends based on your interests. Plus, you now have the option to instantly sign up with a plethora of sites, ranging from news sites like CNN to other social networks like GetGlue. So close this window and get to work building your new online life!