Master Facebook privacy settings page to keep your all-important personal information private. Despite only being founded in 2004, Facebook now has well over a billion users sharing their thoughts, photos and more. However, as it’s grown in popularity – and with people putting more and more personal details on the site – the question of privacy has come firmly to the fore for Facebook users.
The really worrying thing about all this is that criminals can easily gain access to your information, making it simple for them to target you – whether that’s with seemingly harmless spam, or by stealing your identity. Facebook doesn’t make it obvious that your privacy is at stake, either. The good news, however, is that you can easily adjust Facebook’s settings to determine exactly which people get to see what’s on your profile.
New Facebook privacy controls
When you share on Facebook, make sure you’re sharing it to the people you want to, otherwise it’ll go out indiscriminately to everyone on your Friends list. If you’re not careful, it may even go out to everyone on Facebook. On your main Facebook homepage, click on the drop-down arrow next to Home and select ‘Privacy Settings’ from the list that appears.
You can lock down your entire profile in one fell swoop ensuring any future updates can only be viewed by a select few. Click on the ‘Edit’ option next to ‘Who can see your future posts?’ and then choose ‘Custom’ from the drop-down menu that appears. To ensure only your approved friends can see your updates, click ‘Share this with’ and select ‘Friends’.
If you want to be a little more particular about who you share with, click on ‘Specific People or Lists’ and in the text box below type the name of the person or organisation that you want to share all your updates with. Alternatively, if you want to exclude a certain person, group or organisation, type the names in the text box underneath ‘Hide this from’.
Share on the fly
Alternatively, you might want to choose who you share with as and when you make an individual update to your Facebook account. To do this, write something in the status box on your profile page or choose a photo to share – when you’re ready, click the drop-down menu button next to ‘Post’ and select who you want to add to from the list that’s generated.
Disguising your presence
To gain a little more control over your other Facebook activities, go back to the main page on your Facebook account and click on the little ‘padlock’ icon next to the Home button. Now, under ‘Who can contact me?’ click on the drop-down menu located underneath ‘Who can send me friend requests’ and select the option called ‘Friends of friends.
If a friend tags you in a photo on Facebook, it will automatically appear on your Timeline – but what if you don’t want it to? The answer is to get Facebook to request your permission each time. To do this, Go to your homepage, click on ‘Activity log > Posts You’re Tagged In’. From here, hit the ‘gear’ icon at the top and enable the ‘Timeline Review’ controls.
Hide from search engines
You can’t escape being publicly searched for, but if you keep your profile private, nobody can see what your status updates or photos. You can also make sure your Timeline doesn’t appear in searches, too. Go to ‘Privacy Settings > Who can look me up > Do you want other…’, click ‘Edit’ – from here, untick ‘Let other search engines link to your Timeline’.
See how you look
It’s a good idea to check how your page looks to the rest of the world – this will give you an idea of just how private (or open) it is. Navigate to your profile page ‘cog’ icon, and in the drop-down menu select ‘View As’. By default, it appears as ‘Public’, but you can set it to appear as a specific person. Hit ‘OK’-now your Facebook page will be as private as you want it to be.