Facebook DosDo use your real name. The idea behind these sites is for friends to stay in touch and reconnect. If you use a fake name people you knew in elementary school, from summer vacations, from real-life social groups you have left and friends who moved away, will not be able to find you.
Do use a real picture of you in your profile. For the same reasons you should use your real name, a real picture of you is a must. People cant tell if youre you from your name alone. That being said, keep the picture you post modest, provocative pictures send the wrong message.
Do look at the pictures of people who send you friend requests. Even if you dont recognize them from the photo currently on display you may recognize the person from a different picture.
Do create your photo albums with privacy settings so only your friends can see them. You can change the settings in the future if you want but it is always best to limit who can see the more intimate moments of your life.
Do tag the pictures you post so that friends know when you have put their picture online. It is just common courtesy to let people know when you have put their likeness on the internet.
Do be tolerant when you get friend requests from strangers, especially if your photo is not of you. You may not be the only person on the planet with your name. Just hit reject and dont worry about it. People are not notified when you reject their friend request.
Do use the Facebook privacy settings to limit who can see your full profile. Set it so that only friends can see things like your pictures, your wall, and your personal and contact information.
Do create a private group for you and your close friends. Make the group administrated and by invite only and only allow friends to join if you know them in real life.
Do limit the type of email notifications that come to you from Facebook. If you dont you could find your email bombarded by Facebook messages.
Do report any threats of violence or other inappropriate posts or images to Facebook and to the proper real world authorities like school officials, parents and police.
Facebook DontsDont leave the default Facebook privacy settings as set. Go in and customize your privacy. Of particular importance, limit what people can see when you poke or message them before you have added them as a friend. The default setting allows people who are not friends yet and whom you poke or message to see your entire profile.
Dont be afraid to allow some people to only see a limited version of your profile. Limited profiles show things like your profile picture, your name, and your basic info but do not show things like your wall, your interests, your contact info and any images of you that are not used as in your profile..
Dont ever announce on your wall, or on any public wall, where you plan to go or who you plan to go with. Cyber stalkers are a real threat and if you have one this tells them where to find you in real life.
Dont be afraid to join public groups about interests you share. Just be careful what you post on the walls of these groups.
Dont accept Facebook invites to events. If you plan to attend send your acceptance using a private message or tell the host when you see them in person.
Dont use Facebook to bully, harass, spread rumors, challenge fights or otherwise incite violence. Facebook is a social utility, not an anti-social utility.