If you are new to Facebook, it’s very easy to get started.
Just go to https://www.facebook.com – the ‘s’ is important as it adds another layer of security to your session.
The information requested on that initial sign-up form is all you actually NEED to share with Facebook – if you don’t intend to use the account other than to manage a group for your charity, for example.
You must give a first and last name, which in line with Facebook’s terms and conditions must be your real name, and a valid email (as you will need to receive an activation message), you also need to give a date of birth – neither your email nor your date of birth need to be displayed publically at any time. Of course you don’t have to give your real date of birth, but there is no security reason not to, and if you ever have to retrieve your account for some reason you will need to remember it! The date of birth of any Facebook user must be over 13.le.
Once you have signed up you will be prompted to log in to various email services to scan for people you may know – Facebook can upload your email contact book and check for matches against its database, then prompt you to connect with friends who are already signed up. Again, this step is both perfectly safe, AND perfectly optional. It can feel a bit weird handing over so much information to Facebook, but it doesn’t retain your address list, and you can always change your email password if you are at all concerned.
At this point you won’t be able to do much more until you have logged into your email and activated the account, via the link sent – it seems to come out pretty much immediately so you might as well just do this, then you have full access to your profile and account.
It’s easy to upload a photo to your profile, and Facebook will re-size it for online use, you can also select how it crops for use as a thumbnail around the site – just select ‘upload photo’ and then browse your harddrive for wherever your photo is stored. Facebook regulations state that it should be a picture of you, that is free from copyright for use, and that contains no adult material.
Frequently during this process Facebook will prompt you to search for people you know, because Facebook is a social network. Until you start finding and connecting to people, you won’t se
e any activity, or any real point to what you are doing on there, and you won’t have any information populating your news feed, so at some point you might as well start connecting. If you don’t want to upload your address book, you can look for people in the town where you live or the company you work at, or you can simply enter their name in the search bar at the top of the page (this obviously works rather better for friends with distinctive/unusual names, although you can filter by location, education and workplace to try to define the right ‘John Smith’ or whatever. Facebook search results improve with time, because it will always try to show you results ordered by closeness to you, e.g. if there s a John Smith in any of your friends’ networks of friends, they’ll show up at the top of the results, followed by people close by you geographically (if you have shared that information).
As well as adding friends, you can choose to add yourself to groups, so you can follow specific discussions that interest you – many of these lively communities are a great source of information, advice and support, such as Denia Connect. You can also add pages, which represent specific brands, companies or organisations – these might be local such as Montgo Vegetarians, or big global names like Radiohead. Unless you opt out of notifications, these will then post to your wall along with status updates and information/items shared by your friends, on a ‘feed’ basis – ie it constantly updates, just pushing down the pages as each new item comes in.