How to Adjust Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Customize Your Facebook Privacy Settings to Meet Your Needs

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If you're a business owner that opts to have a Facebook profile, then it's smart to learn how to adjust your Facebook privacy settings to specify who can view or access different types of information about you or from you.

At one time, Facebook would change privacy settings without members knowing, which led to exposing member information. In 2011, Facebook settled with the Federal Trade Commission on a charge regarding its privacy policy. As a result, users now have to opt in to privacy changes.

Accessing Your Privacy Settings in Facebook

To access your Facebook Privacy settings from a web browser:

  1. Log into Facebook.
  2. At the upper right of the page, click the downward arrow to access your account menu and select Settings.
  3. Choose Privacy from the column on the left side of the page.

Facebook gives you two areas to manage privacy:

  1. Your Activity: Here, you can control who can see your future posts, review all your post and things you're tagged in, and limit the audience for posts you've already shared. Click on each item to make and save changes.
  2. How People Find and Contact You: Here, you manage who can send you friend requests, who can see your friends list, who can look you up using the email or phone number you provided, and whether search engines outside of Facebook can link to your profile. Again, you can click on each item to make and save changes. 

Timeline and Tagging Settings

Want to control what others can put on your timeline? Underneath the Privacy option in your Settings is Timeline and Tagging. Here, you can control the settings in three areas:

  1. Timeline: This includes options for managing who can post on your timeline, who can see what others post on your timeline, and whether or not people can share your posts to their stories. It also gives you the option to hide comments from your timeline that contain certain words.
  2. Tagging: Here, you can choose who can see the posts you're tagged in on your timeline, and whether or not you want to add your audience to posts that you're tagged in.
  3. Review: This is where you can choose whether to review posts you're tagged in before they appear on your timeline, review tags that other people add to your posts, and review what other people see on your timeline.

Next to each, click on edit and make your choices. 

Stories Settings

This is where you can edit the sharing options for your stories. You can choose whether or not to allow other people to share your public stories to their own stories to share your stories if you mention them.

Location Settings

If you allow Location Services to be on in Facebook's mobile app then it tracks your exact location and creates a history of it. Here, you can view that history and delete it if you choose. Facebook notes that only you can view this information.

Blocking Settings

This is where you can create a restricted list, block users, block messages, block app and event invites, and block certain pages. If you're ever annoyed by people inviting you to play games, then you'll want to check this section out. 

Face Recognition Settings

Here, you can choose whether or not Facebook can recognize you in photos and videos. This helps Facebook identify photos and videos in which you might not be tagged.

Facebook Privacy on Mobile Devices

You can access privacy settings on your mobile device as well. Click the menu icon at the bottom of the app and scroll down to Settings & Privacy. You'll be given the same options as listed above. In addition, you can switch the Location Services and Location History settings on and off here.

Once you have your Facebook privacy settings in place, you can feel safer about what you are sharing online.

Using Shortcuts and Privacy Checkup and Shortcuts

If you click on the "Quick Help" icon at the top right of your Facebook page, next to the arrow, then you'll see Privacy Checkup and Privacy Shortcuts.

Privacy Checkup will walk you through your current privacy settings for your posts, profile, apps and websites and give you tips for adjusting them. It's a great way to review all of your privacy settings and make sure you're not missing anything.

Privacy Shortcuts takes you to a page with links to not only privacy settings, but also account security, ad preferences, safety, legal information, and more.