Facebook had changed its privacy settings so many times, but maintaining your privacy settings is extremely important. We all have photos that we want to hide from public, and we certainly wouldn't like our account being hacked. Here’s how to increase your privacy and security on Facebook.
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Managing Your Timeline
Check what your Timeline looks like to a public or a specific friend. To access this feature open your Facebook profile and click on a gear icon. Click on “View as…” and see what your Timeline looks like to the public. If you click on “View as Specific Person” and type in the name of a friend, you will see your Timeline as specified friend sees it.
Create lists to add your friends in. This way you can customize what a specified group is able to see on your profile. For example, you can create a list called “Work” and add all your colleagues into in. Next time you want to share something related to work you can specify if just people in “Work” list are allowed access, some other of your specified groups, or if it will public and everyone can see it.
To create lists click on “Friends” on the left side of your profile. You will see that all your friends have “Friends” written to the right of their profile picture. Hover over “Friends” word and click to “Add to another list”. Now all your lists will show with an option to create a new list at the bottom.
It is wise to also add certain Facebook Friends to a list Called “Restricted”. To do so hover over “Friends” word next to the profile picture of a friend you want to add and then click to “Add to another list”. Click on “Restricted”, and from now on that specific friend will only be able to see stuff you choose to make public.
Opting Out of Social Ads
Every time you like some page, Facebook can use it to advertise for brands. For example, if you like “PS Mafia Wars Autoplayer” page, then Facebook is able to show your profile picture and add a tagline that will be something like “Your friend ‘Name’ likes PS Mafia Wars Autoplayer, check out PS Mafia Wars Autoplayer’s Facebook page to learn about our latest update”.
To prevent this, go to your account settings and select Adverts on the left hand side. Open “Adverts and Friends” section and edit it by selecting “No One” for “Pair my social actions with ads for”.
You can also deny Facebook to give third party application, or advert networks the right to use your name or picture in ads. Although Facebook does not give that right at present, you might want to block it by going to Account Settings, clicking Adverts on left hand side, and then edit “Third Party Sites” section. Set it to “No One” to deny the rights.
Manage Who Can See Your Posts
If you would like to set up a default group of Facebook friends who can see your future posts, go to your profile and open Privacy Settings. Here you can choose who can see your future posts.
This section also has options to review all your posts and things where you can set everything that’s on your Timeline to be allowed or hidden.
You can set who can contact and/or look you up on Facebook.
Timeline and Tagging
The most important option here is the one that lets you review tags people add to your own posts before they appear on Facebook. Click “Edit” next to that option and choose “On” to enable this feature.
If you like set who is able to see posts you’re tagged in.
Set Who Can Post to Your Timeline
This option is very handy if you have a Facebook friend (or two) who likes to post silly and embarrassing things to other peoples’ Timeline. This can be managed under Timeline and Tagging section. Open “Who can add things to my timeline?” and set it to “Friends” or “Only Me”.
Timeline and Tagging has another great option that lets you exclude your profile from Facebook’s facial recognition feature. Edit this settings by opening “Who see Tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?”, select “No One” to prevent this feature.
Choose Who Can See Your Friends List, Followers, and People You Follow
Open Friends list then click on pencil icon and choose to “Edit privacy”. Here you can set who can see your Friends List, who can see the people and list you follow, and who can see your Followers.
Privacy Settings for Photo Albums
Facebook lets you edit privacy settings for every photo album you have uploaded. Go to profile and select “Photos”. Click on “Albums” and on the bottom right of each album you will see an icon that allows you to set who can see it.
Disable Website Instant Personalization
Some websites can use information from your Facebook account. For example rottentomatoes.com shows you movie reviews made by your friends. You can edit this by going to “Account Settings” and selecting “Apps” from the left side. Now click on “Edit” next to an App you want to modify that app’s permission. More importantly, click on “Instant Personalization” and untick box saying “Enable instant personalization on partner websites”.
NOTE: Instant Personalization is not yet available to everyone.
Closing Active Sessions
If you have logged in from work, home, and any other place, Facebook will keep those sessions open. Even if you logged on from computer and then from a mobile device, you will have both sessions still open. In short, every time you used Facebook and haven’t logged out it leaves an active sessions. This opens doors to hackers.
To close your active sessions go to “Account Settings” and open “Security” on the left side. At the bottom of the list you will see “Active Sessions” with your “Current session” being open as well as all other sessions. Click on “End Activity” to close all the sessions you want.
Security Code to Access Account
This is a nice way to add some extra security to your Facebook Account. This will enable security code requirement if you or someone else tries to log in to your profile from a computer or device that you haven’t used before. Facebook will sent security code to your mobile phone. In “Security” section click on “Edit” next to “Login Approvals”. Check the box inside and save changes to enable additional security.
Get notified if your account is accessed from a device you haven’t used before
Under Security section you can set to receive notifications when your account is being accessed from a new computer or a device. Open “Login Notifications” and set whether to receive these notifications by e-mail or text messages/push notifications.
Blocking People on Facebook
There are many reasons why you wouldn't want someone to see your Facebook profile or contact you. Open “Account Settings” and then open “Blocking” on the left side. You can see section called “Block Users” where you can type someone’s name or e-mail to block them. This section will also show all people you have blocked previously.
Block Your Profile on Search Engines
If someone searches for your name on Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. there is a good chance that your Facebook profile will show up under results. If you want to prevent this open “privacy Settings” and turn off option called “Do you want other search engines to link to your Timeline?”
Facebook Chat Settings
If you don’t want to be distracted from what you’re doing, you can either turn Facebook chat off completely, or set who can see you as online. To do so open chat tab at the bottom right of the screen and click on gear icon to open “Advanced Settings”. You can set to turn chat off for a specific friend, turn it on for only some friends, or turn it off completely.
There are other settings that you might want to tweak, be sure to take your time and check it all on Facebook.
Dolores is SEO and Digital Marketing consultant who has been completely hog-washed into doing this site by KC.