How to Use Facebook’s Privacy Settings Effectively

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July 16, 2012

Facebook can be a fun place to get in touch with friends and share updates about your life with the people you know; however, Facebook can also be a very public place, and it is essential to use the privacy settings on your Facebook account to make sure that only the people you want to share these things with can actually see them.

Default Privacy

Once logged on to your Facebook account, click the down arrow to the right of “Home” on the top left-hand menu. From this drop-down menu click “Privacy Settings”. This will take you to the control panel where you can edit your privacy settings. One of the most important privacy settings is the default privacy of your profile which has three options: “Public”, “Friends”, and “Custom”. It is recommended to set your default privacy to “Friends”; this way, only people who you have added as friends on Facebook will be able to see your information.

How You Connect

Next, you should make sure that the settings under “How You Connect” are set to your liking. You will have the same three options for every setting: “Everyone”, “Friends of Friends”, and “Friends”. By choosing the “Friends” option you are making your Facebook as private as possible. This is recommended because only the people you have chosen as friends will be able to see any of your pictures, status updates, or information. If you choose “Everyone”, you are leaving yourself open to the whim of anyone who chooses to search your name on Facebook, and your information is no longer private nor is it under your control.

Post Settings

Every time you post a status update or add a picture or video to your Wall, you will have the option to customize the privacy settings for that specific post. If you have your default privacy setting set to “Friends”, then each post will be able to be seen by all of your friends. However, if you choose to hide a status update from a specific person with whom you still wish to remain friends, you can choose the “Custom” option before posting the status update. This will bring up a menu that will allow you to enter the names of the Facebook friends from whom you wish to hide the post. On another note, if you want to maintain your privacy do not enter a location for your status updates. This allows everyone who can see the post to see where you were when you posted it.

Blocking People

If you want to make sure that a specific person will never be able to see anything you post on Facebook or be able to contact you through the site, you should block that person. Go into the “Privacy Settings” on your Facebook account and scroll to the bottom. Click “Manage Blocking” and enter the name of the person you wish to block from your Facebook profile in the text field. This can be undone at a later date if need be.

Your safety and the security of the information that you choose to post on Facebook is very important; with these quick steps you will be in complete control of the privacy of your Facebook page and be well-equipped to use Facebook’s privacy settings effectively in the future.

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  • Cherry Rodriguez

    Even with the privacy settings, personal information can still be retrieved from 3rd party developers who were given access by users for apps. Some prospective or current employers also request access to Facebook accounts to vet on applicants or employees.  Apps like YAPZAPP make deleting of Facebook messages, posts, photos, and status updates a cinch.  It’s the best way to reclaim control of your personal information in Facebook.