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Protecting Your Family and Friends on Facebook

Updated on May 14, 2012
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Facebook is an excellent way to connect with family and friends on the Internet. You can proudly proclaim on your profile the number of people you know and your relationships with them. However, this exposes the people you care about to strangers who may not have the best of intentions, annoying exes and friends who they may not want to contact, and marketers who want those names for their email lists. Recognizing this privacy issue, Facebook has offered the ability to hide this information since May 2010, but in two different ways.

Hiding Family and Relationships

You can hide your primary relationship, your family members or both.

  1. Sign into your Facebook page and click the Account dropdown in the top right corner and then choose the Privacy Settings option. The Choose Your Privacy Settings page appears, showing who can view Profile items such as family and relationships.
  2. Click Customize Settings near the bottom of the page. The Customize Settings page appears with a list of the things you share, and a dropdown by each option.
  3. Click the Family dropdown and choose Only Me to display only that information to yourself. Choose the Relationships dropdown and choose the same option. You can also specify whether to show that information to everyone, to friends of friends or just to your friends.
  4. Click the Preview My Profile button in the upper right to preview your Profile page. It should not show the information you just hid. Click the back button of your browser to make additional changes. Otherwise, click any Facebook option at the top right to save your selections.

Hiding Friends

To hide your friends, do the following:

  1. Click the Account dropdown in the top right corner and then choose the Privacy Settings option. The Choose Your Privacy Settings page appears, showing who can view Profile items such as family and relationships.
  2. Look for the Connecting on Facebook title near the top right. Underneath that, click View Settings to display the Connecting on Facebook page. This lists settings for how people can contact you.
  3. Click the See Your Friend List dropdown, which is about the fourth option down, and choose Only Me. You can also specify whether to show that information to everyone, to friends of friends or just to your friends.
  4. Click the Preview My Profile button in the upper right to preview your Profile page. It should not show the information you just hid. Click the back button of your browser to make additional changes. Otherwise, click any Facebook option at the top right to save your selections.

Final Test

As a final test, sign out of your Facebook account to browse your profile as a stranger would. Your hidden information should not appear.

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    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      Very Good Advice in this Timely Hub of yours, Alocsin. I too do not disclose much about my Family on Facebook. Also you've given lots of good Information of "How to"...I vote this Hub VERY USEFUL.

    • Marlin 55 profile image

      Marlin 55 6 years ago from USA

      More great advice Alocsin. And again thank you for sharing great information.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks - I'm sharing this with my friends and relatives on FB.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Voted up and useful!

      Facebook all too easily reveals EVERYTHING! - Not the best idea. I like to new look of Google+(1) .. it is like they have learned from the mistakes of all the social sites. Have you tried it?

    • alocsin profile image
      Author

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Figures that just when I get on Facebook, a new social network comes along. I'll take a look, Brett. Thanks for the votes.

    • DeborahFantasia profile image

      Deborah 6 years ago from Italy

      Great advice ! I don't think people realize how much of their (and their families) information is accessible.

    • Lenore Robinson profile image

      Lenore Robinson 5 years ago from Delaware

      Excellent information, alocsin. Another important hub! Thanks for sharing this information. I am still surprised at how many people are unaware! Up and useful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for this warning. Many of us were hacked by hubbers looking to steal material. This is really helpful for the few of us lost about it. I appreciate you doing this!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      The above comment was from me. I didn't realize I was signed out. Oppsy.. See, technologically challenged!

    • alocsin profile image
      Author

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks Tammy. I appreciate your clarifying the situation.

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