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How to Have Facebook Privacy - Made Easy

Updated on August 15, 2012
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Joanne Marcinek is a woman with a mission. Her passion is to help people get the relevant information they need on the Internet.

Facebook Privacy Settings

Using Facebook is a fun and easy way to keep in touch with the people in your life, but it can also be a way to have your life exposed in ways you don't want it to be. Using Facebook effectively relies on knowing how to set and change the settings that control who sees information about you.

The first step is to login to your Account at Facebook.  Look in the upper right for Account.  Choose Account > Account Settings.

Facebook Account Settings Page

Change Facebook Privacy Settings

At the screen above, choose Privacy > Manage to change your Facebook Privacy settings.

The options you see will include:

Connecting on Facebook and Sharing on Facebook.  

Connecting on Facebook

In this section you determine who can search and find you on Facebook... by what elements of your profile. If you have your profile tightly set (Friends only) you can have your connection settings more "open" and allow more people the opportunity to connect with you.

Change Your Facebook Sharing Settings

Sharing on Facebook

Facebook sets your share settings initially to their "recommended settings" which, in my viewpoint are far to open.

Facebook Default Privacy Settings

As you can see from the screenshot above, Facebook's default privacy settings are very open, allowing "Everyone" to see many things including:

  • Your status, photos, and posts
  • Bio and favorite quotations
  • Family and relationships

And to your Friends Friends (how many people is that?) the default settings will show:

  • Photos and videos you're tagged in
  • Religious and political views
  • Birthday

And lastly to Friends Only:

  • Permission to comment on your posts
  • Places you check in to
  • Contact information

Facebook Privacy Recommended Settings

Recommended Facebook Privacy Settings

These are the privacy settings that I use so that I can freely share information to the groups I want to share with and restrict information from those I am not yet connected with.

The asterisks in the "Other" column can be expanded by clicking on the Customize Settings link at the bottom of the page.

Things You Share on Facebook

Customize Facebook Privacy Settings

Almost all of the "Things I Share" are restricted to Friends Only and in some cases they are modified even further by requesting that the Friends labeled "Limited Profile" (I use Limited Profile for my business vs. personal Friends) not see certain information.  

Things Others Share on Facebook

Facebook Privacy: Things Others Share

In the Things Others Share section, you can change the settings on information that other people are allowed to share about you, including:

  • Photos and videos I'm tagged in
  • Can comment on posts
  • Includes status updates, friends' Wall posts, and photos
  • Suggest photos of me to friends
  • When photos look like me, suggest my name
  • Friends can post on my Wall
  • Can see Wall posts by friends
  • Friends can check me in to Places

For the setting of suggest photos of me to friends, I have that enabled. However, I have disabled the option to have Friends Check me in to Places.

Facebook Privacy: Your Contact Information

The last section on the Facebook Privacy Settings page is about your contact information. You can allow or disallow certain information to be seen on your Facebook Profile, including your:

  • Address
  • Friends Only
  • IM screen name
  • email address
  • phone number


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