Facebook How-To Tip: Manage E-mail Notifications

In this Facebook tip of the week, learn about e-mail notifications, how to set them, and the important option that can help you stop damage from photos before it starts.

By default, Facebook will push notifications to your e-mail informing you that you were sent a message, a friend request, or tagged in a photo (among other items) on the service. Some users who don't leave Facebook open all day find this useful; others find the notifications annoying and distracting.

More Facebook tips on CIO.com

How to Set Your Facebook Privacy Settings

How to Move Photos from Picasa to Facebook

Managing Your Reputation on Facebook

Luckily, you can modify your Facebook account settings to get as many or few notifications sent to your e-mail as you want. We walk you through how to perfect your settings here.

Go to the Account Settings

Log into Facebook like you normally would. Scroll your mouse to the right side of the screen over "Settings." A drop down appears, and click on "Account Settings."

Facebook Account Settings menu
Facebook Account Settings menu

Getting to (and setting) notifications

Once you're on the account settings main menu, you see five tabs. Click on on the third one, aptly named "notifications."

You see that many of the Facebook notifications are switched "on" already. Obviously, it's in Facebook's best interest from a business perspective to broadcast you as many messages as possible that will engage you with the service.

The Facebook e-mail notifications menu.
The Facebook e-mail notifications menu.

Our tips for notifications

In order to decide how many of the notifications to turn on, you should assess how much time you spend with the service all day. If you leave Facebook minimized in your Web-browser for a good portion of the day — or you frequently log-in for a few minutes every few hours — you should turn off most of the notifications. Your e-mail is already clogged enough as is with "occupational spam" (work e-mails that aren't relevant to you) and promotions and advertisements.

But if you're a lighter Facebook user who is looking to stay engaged with the service (but not inside the application all day), then you should turn on some critical e-mail notifications.

We think the most important one is under the "photos" section. Facebook's new privacy settings have allowed users to set access to their profiles (and the information in them) with great specificity, but there is nothing you can do to prevent someone from taking a picture of you, tagging you in it, and posting it on their page. Getting an e-mail to notify you of this as soon as possible is a good idea.

Photos notification menu
Photos notification menu. .

This is important factor in managing your identity on Facebook as your "friend" list begins to include both work contacts and personal ones as well.

After you've set the notifications to your liking, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and "save changes."

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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