Myriad options. Difficult to stay on top.
I signed up and thought it a bit dodgy that you could put in your web email address and web email account password and it'd be able to extract all your contacts. Most undesirable. But it was how it got to be so popular so quickly. People just jumped right in and spewed an invite out to their whole address book (and it'd be scary to think how man yfolk have the same password for facebook and web email). Me? I just created a 'standalone' account and then uploaded a carefully edited list of close contacts as a csv file after signing up and having a nosey around.
I stopped adding folk long ago, but the odd person I know pops up and adds me. If I know them in person and would be willing to sit down for a drink with them, I'll add 'em to a list with restricted viewing rights. 'Friends' total so far: 78.
I've actively blocked every daft zombie/quiz/etc app that has cropped up lately. Total so far: nigh on 300 applications blocked.
Beacon is blocked, so no outside sites can look into my profile.
No credit card added to buy virtual gifts.
Haven't confirmed gender just because they asked.
Haven't blindly signed up for a 'custom URL'.
No linked accounts have been added.
Not 'activated' my mobile or registered for texts. Or added a mobile app. I just went to m.facebook in my mobile browser under my own steam.
Public Search listings is turned off
My 'Wall' is turned off. You want to chat? Send me a message. I'm not one for having my nattering open to all, recorded, and displayed for all and sundry.
Search within facebook returns resticted info on me.
Had it set to email me of any activity in relation to me (tagging, poking etc.) though they seem to have given up on that one.
Can't stop friends tagging me in their own photos (or other people viewing those photos, which is fair enough), but it's set to let me know when it happens, and set not to be browsable by anyone but me. The odd incidental photo as part of a random set is fine, but I want to be the one in control of who's able to specifically browse through a catalogue of my mugshots.
I THOUGHT I WAS ON TOP OF IT ALL, BUT NO....
I've just had a rummage through the privacy settings for any stuff they've decided to add lately...
A select few apps that I'd messed with and thought I'd uninstalled had not been uninstalled and fully denied access to my profile. Now done, so no API-based non-inbuilt facebook functions at all are installed. Although I'd unchecked all the boxes in the list of stuff to share with apps via 'facebook platform' anyways, I'm now able to select the elusive "Do not share any information about me through the Facebook API" radio button.
Facebook Connect - hadn't seen that one. Now blocked.
"Show my social actions in Facebook Ads" (Option hidden behind Adblock Plus!)? Er, no thanks.
-I suppose you can't claim they don't offer enough options. But it's all getting a bit insidious, tbh. And after blocking out all the advertising crud, what you're left with is a wannabe Address Book / Twitter / Flickr / Youtube combo. But just of your friends' stuff. Which is actually a relatively compelling proposition. Especially seeing as it's almost easier to be sure of reaching a friend via facebook than via email these days because:
a- they're all on there
b - no need to keep track of what email address to use
c- not everyone is comfortable with using an RSS feed of a Flickr account or a Picasa URLs for sharing photos).
So I'd maybe be prepared to pay a modest fee for (couple of quid a month). But only on the condition that they go ad-free and guarantee not to share ANY personal info with ANY third parties. But they won't do that cos it's easier to sell ads based on details provided by folk who don't really care about any of the above.