Thursday, June 26, 2014

Facebook Privacy Settings and Restrictions

Do you know who sees what you post on Facebook?  I don't.  I wish I did, but as hard as I try to limit what people can see on my personal Facebook page, I know there are creepers out there that are able to dig around and find things easier than I can hide things from them.

I clicked on one of those quizzy things the other day on my newsfeed.  It revealed my personality to me by scanning through my FB posts and analyzing what I post and it was wrong, but whatever.  Glad my FB personality isn't my real personality.  Then I was investigating this quiz and I could click on my friend's names and it would show me THEIR personality results from scanning their posts. 

Let me tell you that again.
I could see someone else's results because I was their friend on FB.  The app had permissions to see my friend's pages, despite the fact that it "reassured" me that "only me" could see if it posted "on my behalf."

I felt violated for my friends.  I felt violated because my friends could see my (inaccurate) results.

That was a big problem for me.

Then, this past weekend I went out with some friends and she was posting photos and tagging me in some of them, which I'm normally fine with... except that when I checked, her FB was open to the entire world.  Nope, don't want.  I then spent the subsequent moments untagging myself, so I'm glad there was that option, but still, what happened to privacy?

I understand the concept behind social media is to share ALL THE THINGS!  I get it.  That doesn't mean I like it.  There is no social media platform that is inherently better or worse than another.  Sure, you might have a favorite one to hate, but there are issues with Google+, Facebook, Myspace, Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest, blah blah blah.

Despite my "no shame" life policy and the fact that I have a blog, it doesn't mean I want ALL THE PEOPLE! to know every intricate detail about myself.  There are some things that just aren't for public consumption.  For instance, I don't tell you about "being a girl" or having sex or most of my bodily functions.  And sometimes, I don't even tell you what I did that weekend..  /gasp!  Sometimes, I just like to not have everyone knowing my business.

Anyways, the point of all that is to share a few things about FB privacy (as that's my primary social media outlet) that you hopefully know about, but if you don't then you'll be educated in all the ways of "secrecy" or as much "secrecy" as one can obtain with social media.

This isn't a guide to make your name disappear from the internet (I've tried, it seems to be impossible) or to make you not-findable via Facebook.  If someone is super determined, they will be able to find you on Facebook.  I totally believe in the 6 degrees of separation.  I'm sure that I know someone that knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who I know.  It just a really small world.  But maybe this will stop those creepers from friend requesting you at 3am?

Here are my suggestions for locking down your Facebook profile/information.  Please note that Facebook's default setting for everything is "Public."

There is a way to customize your audience for your postings, you just click on custom and select who you do/don't want to see things  Changing that in box below will make it apply to your ALL THE THINGS you post.  I also show how to change a single status below.

Click through the numbers to get to this menu to be able to change who can see things you post in the future.  You will still have to go back and change all the old posts if they were set to public and you want to limit them (there is an easy way to do this).

So you changed your future posts, but you want to change your old posts to limit their visibility.
Click on the lock button at the top right and click "See more settings" at the bottom of the menu.
Click Privacy on the left, if it isn't selected.
I've shown where you can limit all your past posts, but review the other settings as well, you might see something you'd like to change.
I'm a huge fan of limiting friend requests to friends of friends so that way some random stranger can't just look me up.  I also don't allow my timeline to be linked to search engines.  Kthxno.

While you are still in the settings, click the "Security" link on the top left.  You have a plethora of options to choose from about login security, you can set up "trusted contacts" to help you get into your acct if you get locked out (bahahah, yeah right), you can also see which browsers you use and where you're signed in from.
"Where You're Logged In" is a good feature to see where you are signed into Facebook at.  If you see a location you don't recognize or that you know isn't you, your account has probably been compromised and you should change your password.  I suggest ending all the activity other than your current session every month or so, especially if you're like me and never logout, ever.  This cuts down on the opportunity for your friends to hack into your account if you've signed into your account on their computer/phone or for your account to be compromised if you use public computers.

Review your timeline settings to limit who can post on your timeline, to see what people can see on your timeline, and turn on/off notifications if/when you are tagged on Facebook.

Don't want your mom to see that selfie you took when you went out with your friends to the bar when you were wearing that dress she wouldn't approve of?  NBD, just select custom (highlighted) and select who you do/don't want to see that individual status update.  

So that is my quick Facebook Privacy lesson.  I'm sure that in the near future, Facebook will revamp their entire design or update their legal page regarding privacy settings to where everything has to be set to public, so this guide will be for naught.  But I made the effort!!

Now please, go lock down your FB pages so you're not stalkable!!!


  1. thanks for sharing! i have most of my settings on private, but some on public. the internet can be scary sometimes - i cant believe that quiz could go through your friends stuff! eek!

  2. Thanks for the tips!! I will definitely do this!


YAY!! I love comments! Please be aware that I reply to comments via email; please have an email associated with your account so we can chat!