Getting on Facebook

Facebook is a social networking website, a hub for people to socialize and network online. It can be used for email, event planning, photo storage, playing games, writing notes, posting links, and more.

Facebook is free to use and is an excellent networking tool. However, for those unfamiliar with the site, it presents an entirely new facet of the Internet and a world of possibilities ... and uncertainties. Here are some useful facts that you may not know about Facebook.

You are the one in control of everything. You choose:

  • Who you add as a friend
  • Who can find and view your profile
  • Who can see the information you post on your profile
  • What you post in your profile, and how much

Similarly, what your friends, family, and coworkers do with their profiles, security levels and posted content is their choice.

Children under 13 cannot sign up for Facebook. However, if these children know how to use the Internet and falsely state that they are 13 or older, Facebook has no way to verify it. Once a child is 13 or older, they are allowed to create their own profile. Unless the parent monitors the adolescent's activity directly (i.e., at home), there is no legal way of controlling what is said or posted. Facebook provides more information on this topic at http://www.facebook.com/safety/

Remember: just like the Internet, once something is posted on Facebook, it may be very hard to retract or erase.

How to sign-up

  • Go to www.facebook.com
  • You will see the following homepage, where you can sign up

facebook sign-up form

  • Enter the required information, and click on "Sign Up."

NOTE: You must use an email address that is valid and that you have access to.

  • Facebook will guide you through three set up steps. If you do not want to give the information they are asking for, you can find a small "skip step" button at the bottom.

facebook set-up screen

  • Once you've gone through the three step set-up process, you will need to go to the email address that you provided facebook with to complete the sign up process. There will be an email waiting for you with instructions.

Function

When you log in to Facebook with your new account, you will see your News Feed. Using the toolbar on the left side of the screen, you can navigate away from the News Feed to perform other tasks, such as messaging friends, creating events, playing games, or connecting with new people.

facebook menu items

Terminology

Events This feature allows you and your friends to organize events, send out invites, and keep in touch.

Messages You can use this feature to privately communicate with your facebook friends.

News Feed This page shows a list of updates from your friends and any pages that you follow.

Notifications The notification button alerts you when someone is communicating with you. It is located in the top left corner of the page, and will show a red number alerting you of how many notifications you have.

Photos You can post your photos on facebook and you can also view your friends' photos.

Profile This is your page, where you can include a photo of yourself and any information about yourself that you are comfortable sharing.