We’re sharing more information online than ever before. While websites like Facebook help us connect, and stay in touch, with friends and family around the world, we need to make sure we’re in control of how much information the general public sees. Here is a quick guide to the essential privacy settings on Facebook.
All Facebook privacy settings can be found by clicking on the arrow at the top right-hand corner of the screen and selecting “Privacy Settings”. Post privacy is the first setting that appears, and you can select whether you want your posts to be seen by everyone, just by Facebook friends, or by a customized list of people.
By default, anyone can find your Facebook profile through Google. To prevent people without a Facebook account searching for and viewing your profile, click on “Apps and Websites” under “Privacy Settings”, look for the link next to “Public Search”, then untick the box marked “Enable public search”.
The “How you connect” section within your Facebook privacy settings controls how visible your profile is to other Facebook members. Here, you can customize who can add you as a friend, who can send you messages, and who can find you through Facebook using either your name, or email address or phone number. For each option, you can choose between “Everyone”, “Friends”, or “Friends of Friends”. For maximum privacy, change all settings to “Friends”, except “Who can send you Friend Requests?”, which should be “Friends of Friends”.
Facebook’s newer features include facial photo recognition software, which asks friends to tag you in photos that look like you. To prevent Facebook making these settings, click on “Timeline and Tagging” and change the last setting (“Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?”) to “No one”.
When you post status updates, Facebook adds a general suggestion for your location to each post. If you don’t want your location publicized with your post, remove it by hovering over the location with your cursor, and clicking the “X” button. To remove the location from mobile posts, tap the place symbol next to your post and click the “X” next to your location.