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Facebook Privacy, or: How Can I Keep My Profile Secure?

Updated on September 23, 2016

Risks of Leaked Privacy

If you are not careful, anyone can hack your account, steal your content, or even stalk you. These problems can occur when:

-You click on a scam.

-Don't properly adjust your privacy settings.

-Share public content.

1st Step

Limit your old posts.

Facebook has multiple settings for your content that can each be changed: Public (Everyone with a Facebook can see this so be wise), Friends, Friends of Friends, and Only Me. When you limit your old posts, it makes every post you made from earlier to years ago when you first started under Friends, meaning only people who are your friend can see it.

  1. Click at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Settings
  2. Select Privacy from the left menu
  3. Under the Who can see my stuff? section, click Limit the audience for posts I've shared with friends of friends or Public?
  4. Click Limit Old Posts

2nd Step

Blocking someone.

Is there someone who you don't want talking to you? Bullying your kid on Facebook? Easiest thing to do it block them. This makes it so they cannot:

  • See things you post on your profile
  • Tag you in posts, comments or photos
  • Invite you to events or groups
  • Start a conversation with you
  • Add you as a friend
  1. Click at the top right of any Facebook page.
  2. Click How do I stop someone from bothering me?
  3. Enter the name or email address of the person you want to block and click Block.
  4. If you entered a name, select the specific person you want to block from the list that appears.

They shall not be notified, but they will notice if you blocked them if you have been in a conversation with them or friended them because their messages will be denied. To unblock someone you go through the same steps and remove the block. But be careful. If you have someone blocked and then unblocked them, you have to wait for 48 hours before you can block them again if you change your mind due to some people using blocking as a way of chain mail and harassment.


3rd Step

Timeline Review

Without this setting turned on, anyone can post whatever they want on your account. This will make it to where you have to approve the post first before they can post it on your page. Keep in mind, this does not prevent them from mentioning you or posting pictures of you on other pages. It only prevents them from posting on your page unless you approve said post.

  1. Click the arrow at the top right of any Facebook page and select Settings
  2. In the left column, click Timeline and Tagging
  3. Look for the setting Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your Timeline? and click Edit to the far right
  4. Select Enabled from the dropdown menu

4th Step

Keep your contact info private

When making your profile you require an email address. You can also provide things like school, phone number, etc. so friends can get to know you. This can lead to threats if not monitored correctly. Simply change these settings to be observed by "Only Me" when putting these things in and when a friend goes to your profile, they are told to ask you for said information.

5th Step

Only accept friend requests from mutual friends or people you know.

Seems like something obvious, but there are many fake profiles leading people to think they became friends with celebrities or other people, so odds are that it is not them.

6th Step

Keep your friends circle small

No more than 200 people unless you have to. This can lead to a cluttered feed when checking Facebook, and potentially make you a target for stalkers or hackers.

7th Step

Watch out for scams.

If you receive a friend request from someone you are already friends with and you notice something is up, odds are that this is not them. This once happened to a friend of mine and after we reported it, it turns out that this was a group of hackers trying to con me out of my money. Here is what you need to watch out for.

Romance scams: Romance scammers typically send romantic messages to people they don’t know, often pretending to be divorced, widowed or in a bad marriage. They'll engage in online relationships in hopes of receiving money for flights or visas. Their goal is to gain your trust, so the conversations may continue for weeks before they ask for money.

  • Lottery scams: Lottery scams are often carried out from accounts impersonating someone you know, or fake profiles pretending to represent an organization like Facebook. The messages will claim that you're among the winners of a lottery and that you can receive your money for a small advance fee. The scammer may ask you to provide personal information, such as your physical address or bank details.
  • Loan scams: Loan scammers send messages and leave posts offering instant loans at a low interest rate for a small advance fee.

To protect yourself from scams, watch out for the following:

  • People asking you for money who you don’t know in person
  • People asking you for advance fees to receive a loan, prize or other winnings
  • People asking you to move your conversation off Facebook (ex: a separate email address)
  • People claiming to be a friend or relative in an emergency

Here are a couple of websites that deal with scams.

8th Step

Be smart. What you say on the internet can say a lot about you, and can do a lot of good or bad. All it takes is one post or message and anything could happen.

Have you ever had any problems with cyber security?

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    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 15 months ago

      I agree. Even I have trouble keeping up with it and I am not even 20.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 15 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Changes happen so often in social media, it is hard to keep up. I get overwhelmed many times by the things we have to learn.