Nowadays, you can’t be too careful with your Facebook privacy settings, especially those of you with families. Today I want to show you how to secure your Facebook privacy while still enjoying a good degree of social contact.
General Facebook privacy settings
Facebook has four settings for most of their privacy options: Friends, Friends of friends, Everyone/Public or Custom. Let’s go through each option along with the privacy level of each.
- Everyone/Public = Anyone on the Internet can see your stuff, contact you or send a friend request, low privacy
- Friends of Friends = Your good friend Kate is friends with Tom, he can see your stuff, contact you or send a friend request, moderate privacy
- Friends = Only people you have already added and confirmed as friends can see your stuff or contact you, high privacy
- Custom = Choose which users or groups who can see your stuff, privacy depends on who you choose
So now we know how the different levels of privacy work, let’s go through each setting and change it to the privacy level you want. Do this by going to Settings Arrow ▼ top-right of your screen, then choose the Settings menu item, then on the navigation panel to your left, click on Privacy. You will now be on the Privacy Settings & Tools page where all your privacy settings are. I will explain further each setting and include a recommended setting for each.
- Who can see my stuff?
- Who can see your future posts?
- Means: Who can, from this moment on-wards, see anything you post? Includes images, text, video and other activity, doesn’t affect earlier activity/posts. Recommend Friends
- Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in
- Means: Go through all your posts and set custom visibility for each
- Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public?
- Means: Make all your previous activity limited to friends only, nothing in Public or Friends of Friends view. Anything you previously posted with Public, Friends of Friends or Custom visibility will no longer be visible to those people or groups except Friends. Recommend Yes
- Who can contact me?
- Who can send you friend requests?
- Means: Who has permission to click the Add Friend button on your profile page, the Add Friend button will not be shown to those not in your chosen privacy level. Recommend Friends of Friends
- Who can look me up?
- Who can look you up using the email address you provided?
- Means: If someone searches your email address firstname.lastname@example.org they will find your profile in Facebook search results. Recommend Friends of Friends
- Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?
- Means: If someone enters your phone number (555) 555 5555 they will find your profile in Facebook search results. Recommend Friends of Friends
- Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your Profile?
- Means: If someone searches anything that matches anything you’ve posted, your profile page may show up in search results (depends entirely on search engine). Recommend No
Per Post Privacy Settings
There might be a time when you actually want to post something Public and Facebook allows you to do just this. When you post anything (image, text, video or link) just to the right of the Post button, you will see a drop-down button that says either Public or Friends, click on it and you can choose exactly which group of people can see this individual post (click on the More Options ▼ item to choose Custom visibility or Only Me).
You can also go through and individually change the visibility level for anything you have previously posted. Just go to the post and just under your name you will see a little World icon or Friends icon with a down arrow ▼, click on it and change the visibility level to Friends, Public, Custom or Only Me.