What to Know Before Signing Up on Facebook

by Carolyn Luck

If you’re thinking of signing up for a Facebook account, consider what joining the social network means and what's expected of you as a member. In an effort to create a social network that's safe and enjoyable, Facebook offers privacy options, content guidelines and rules governing promotional and marketing techniques that affect how you use your account. Managing a Facebook account involves more than understanding how you’re connecting and what you’re allowed to post. Knowing what's expected of you can make your experience more enjoyable.

Sign Up Process

To sign up for a Facebook account, a minimum age of 13 is required, as well as a valid email address. During the sign-up process, you’ll be asked to enter your first and last name, date of birth, gender and email address. You’ll then be asked to choose a password. Facebook will send a confirmation email message to the address you provided on the sign-up page. You’ll be required to click the confirmation link contained in the message to complete the account creation process. Once your email address is confirmed, you’ll need to verify your Facebook account by adding a mobile phone number and entering a confirmation code sent by Facebook via text message. Verifying your account will enable you to use certain Facebook features, such as registering a username.

Security Options

Facebook offers several options to safeguard your privacy. You’ll use a password to access and make changes to your account. Facebook recommends a password that's at least six characters long, consisting of letters, numbers and punctuation marks. You can also add a security question to your account to give you access your account if you forget your password. Facebook offers a number of customized privacy settings to control how you share content and how people can contact and search for you. Once logged in, the gear-shaped icon in the upper right corner of any page will enable you to access and edit your privacy settings.

Terms of Use

Facebook’s Terms of Use require you to comply with guidelines that help keep the site safe. Facebook limits the types of content you can post to a certain extent. Content that conveys violence, pornography, graphic material, impersonation or bullying is not permitted. Members who post such content can have their accounts suspended or permanently deleted. If, as a Facebook member, you see someone posting offensive content, you can report it to Facebook. Note that simply reporting something doesn't guarantee its removal. Facebook accounts are for individual use and each account requires a different email address. No two people are allowed to share one account. Fake names are not permitted so all members to know just who they're becoming friends with.

Business vs. Personal Use

Personal Facebook accounts are for personal use only. Business pages are for promotional and marketing purposes. You can't promote your business on your personal Timeline. You can create a Facebook business page and set up promotional campaigns, create Facebook ads and connect with customers online. A personal account is required to set up a business page; there's no such thing as a Facebook business account.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images