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Facebook being more proactive in pushing users to check privacy settings

A magnifying glass is posed over a monitor displaying a Facebook page in Munich on Oct. 10, 2011. Facebook is being more proactive in ensuring its users fully understand their privacy settings and who can see their posts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, dapd, Joerg Koch

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A magnifying glass is posed over a monitor displaying a Facebook page in Munich on Oct. 10, 2011. Facebook is being more proactive in ensuring its users fully understand their privacy settings and who can see their posts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, dapd, Joerg Koch

TORONTO - Facebook is being more proactive in ensuring its users fully understand their privacy settings and who can see their posts.

On Thursday, the social media giant began pushing out a pop-up message asking that users spend "a minute or two" reviewing their privacy settings to confirm everything is setup right.

Facebook, which has more than 19 million users in Canada, will first target users who log in with a desktop or laptop computer.

Facebook intends to have the same pop-ups appear on mobile devices in the future.

"We're trying to listen closely to user feedback and help people make sure they're sharing with who they want — and we've been doing it a bit more proactively than usual," said Facebook product manager Paddy Underwood.

"We think it's really important that people do the (settings review) and make sure their things are setup up just the way they want."

In the spring, Facebook started to reach out to users who typically shared posts publicly to confirm they understood their privacy settings.

"We just want to make sure that this is a thing they want to be doing and if not, then give them an opportunity to proactively change their audience," said Mike Nowak, a product manager on the company's privacy team, at the time.

"We understand that in the past some people have felt that privacy on Facebook has changed too frequently or that we haven't communicated as well as we could about privacy."

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