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Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook Privacy Settings

Just a moment ago I decided to take a quick look down my friends list and picked a few at random, some of which are actually pretty 'tech-savvy' shall we say, just to see what their settings are like, and it turns out that as I expected, everything is set to 'public'. This may be intentional, but I can't see the benefit of letting just anybody, including strangers know what you get up to on a daily basis... including the thoughtless status, "i'm on holiday for two weeks", letting everybody know that your house may be empty! 

It isn't hard finding out where people live on the internet with just a name (I will not say how, but I can promise it doesn't take long), however scary that may sound! Leave your privacy settings on Facebook as 'Public' and you will soon find yourself the victim of something you wish you weren't!

I will show you now how simple it is to make all of your previous posts hidden to the public and only show them to your friends, and ensure that all of your new posts are shown to just your friends from here on out!  


​Step 1.

First step is to navigate to Facebook and log in (this can be done in the mobile app as well but I will show you how to do it in a web browser on a PC/Mac), once you are logged in you need to navigate to your settings. In the top blue bar where it says your name in the top right of the page, further to the right there is a question mark symbol, to the right of that there is a little downward facing arrow, click on that and then in the dropdown menu, click on 'Settings'.


Step 2.

From the next screen you will be presented with a vast list of options, and you need to select the 'Privacy' option from the menu on the left of the screen. It has a little padlock icon next to it.


Step 3. 

The title of the page should now be 'Privacy Settings and Tools'. From here we can begin changing the way your posts are shown on your timeline, but also the way people are able to search for you. What you may not know is that anybody who has your phone number is able to find your Facebook profile, presuming it is linked to your Facebook account. This can be changed here too!

First thing you should do is to Limit your past posts, so click on 'Limit Past Posts'. You will receive a warning about any previous posts being shared with 'public' or 'friends of friends' being changed to 'friends'. Don't worry about this at all, if later on you find an individual post or photo you wish to share with public or friends of friends, you can change it individually. Click the button that says 'Limit Old Posts', and Facebook will begin the process of changing all of your posts privacy settings to 'friends'. This is your first major step to online privacy!


Step 4.

Once you have limited your past posts, you will want to change who can see your future posts, by clicking on the 'Edit' button next to the 'Who can see your future posts?' section. This is very simple, you can set this to 'Friends' only again, or 'Friends of Friends' if you wish to. I personally have custom groups set up, including restricted groups etc, and every post I post I change the settings for, but if you don't want to go through this every time, it is best just to set this to 'Friends' to be safe. There really isn't much need for anybody else to see your posts.

Remember: Any posts in any groups, such as buy and sell groups or local groups you are part of automatically set the privacy to public, but to members within that group only, so you don't have to worry about them!


Step 5.

You can have a play around with the other settings, but the last few settings that I do think are definitely worth changing now are the bottom three, 'Who can look me up?'. At the end of the day, you don't need to be listed on Google or Bing, if people want to find you, they can search for you on Facebook search, and you don't really want people being able to search using your email or phone number, as this is where sometimes it gets a bit creepy!...So hide them! 

Change the search settings, I have the email and phone search set to friends, as my friends all have my phone number/email and know me funnily enough, so I can't see this being an issue. And I set the search engine listing to 'No', as if you set it to Yes, this gives Google and Bing etc permission to take information from your Facebook profile and store it in the search listings...just set it to 'No'. It has no benefit to you being turned on, trust me!


I have shown a screenshot here of the final settings which may be ideal for your privacy.


I understand this may be a simple thing to do, but unfortunately it is something which I see people missing every day, so I hope this simple post helps some people!

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