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Facebooks Ever Changing Privacy

Updated on April 10, 2011

Facebook, as we all know, is one of, if not the, largest online social networking sites.  However when putting any information online, one of the first things that should be on our mind is privacy.  How private is it? How private do I want it?

Facebook has a large selection of tools to allow you to set up your profile in anyway you want it, you just have to dig into the settings. To access your settings, first log into Facebook, then click Account>>Privacy settings.  This brings you to the main page for your privacy control.

Facebook Privacy page
Facebook Privacy page

The first area is circled in the above picture. Controlling how people find you. This allows you to change basically how you show up to non friends. The first option is called "Search for you on Facebook". This option controls how or if you show up in Facebooks search engine and contains the options of "Everyone", "Friends", or "Friends of Friends". If the option is left as a default, anybody can search for you and find you through the search engine. I personally like a little bit of control, so mine is set to "Friends of Friends", which restricts it to only people who are friends of my friends.

The next option is allowing who can send you friends request. Typically this is left to everyone, in case somebody you know is new and they wish to be your friend, and are not currently a friend of a friend.

The third option allows who can send you private messages. Once again I have this set to "Friends of Friends" which cuts down on spam that sometimes gets through.

The fourth option determines who can see your friends list. In this case, especially since my daughter is on my friends list, I have it set to friends only. This is also the first option that has the choice of "Customize". This handy ability allows you to allow or block certain people from seeing your friends list, or setting it to "Me only".

The remaining options are workplace, likes, and hometown. All of these have the customize function available as well, so if you are very private, you can tighten this information down as well.

These changes on this page save as soon as they are executed, so once you are done, you can either preview your profile to see how it looks to either strangers, friends, or only yourself. Once done click the "Back to Privacy" link in the upper left corner, and this returns you to the page seen above.

This is an overview of the basic privacy settings.  Next update will continue with the more customizable settings, and then as well how to create list of friends, and even control more privacy.

Online interactions contains the chance of leaked information; however, using available tools helps reduce the amount of information that is spread.


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