Using Facebook Without Your Parents Finding Out
While I don't support hiding Facebook from your parents, I understand that some kids want to keep in touch with friends, despite their parents rules. I also know that sometimes parents make rules that they think will keep their kids safe, without understanding the underlying issue. It is unfair that some parents prevent their kids from using Facebook simply because it "sounds dangerous" and never discuss the issue with them besides saying "no." It is also in the nature of children to want to do these things, and, if they're going to, there might as well be a guide for how to do it.
First off, Facebook does not allow users under the age of 13 to sign up. So if you are under 13, this guide won't help you. Secondly, if your parents have a Facebook themselves, or if they are fairly knowledgeable with the internet, then this is a risky procedure. It isn't possible to be on Facebook without anyone being able to see it. For that reason, if you comment on a wall post of a friend who has their profile set to public, and your parents see it, they can see your name. While you could technically convince them that it is a different "John," the chances are slim.
- If you're in a different problem, and your parents friended you on Facebook, see what to do about that here.
- If you're a parent, and want to stop this, read about that here
- Want to know if Facebook will hurt your relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend?
- If you're a little older, learn what your boss is seeing on Facebook that may cost you your job
If you are still willing to take the risk, this guide will make your account as secure as possible, so that your parents can search for you or see your profile. To begin, you have to log into Facebook. If you don't have one, sign up at facebook.com. Once there, you will want to go to the "Privacy Settings" page. Click "Account" at the top right, and then select "Privacy Settings."
The first thing we want to do is make sure that people you aren't friends with can't see you or search for you. Basically, if your parents wanted to find you on Facebook, they'd search for your name. Well, if you don't show up in the results, it would be harder to find you, right? So, on the Privacy Page, click on "View Settings" under the "Basic Directory Information" heading.
Now, you will see several entries. The first is "Search for me on Facebook." Change this to "Only Friends." A little warning here: once you do these steps, you aren't going to be getting any friend requests because people won't be able to find you. You will only be visible to your friends. Also change "Send me friend requests," "Send me messages," "See my friends list," "See my education and work," "See my current city and hometown," and "See my interests and other Pages" to "Only Friends." Basically, if you display your school name, the chances of you being able to say "That's not my profile" are gone. So you want to hide it from everyone who you don't specifically allow to see it (aka, friends).
Next, you want to make sure all the other settings are set to "Friends Only." Go back to the main Privacy Page and click on "Friends Only" as shown below.
Make sure you click "Apply These Settings." Also, uncheck the checkbox that says "Let friends of people tagged in my photos and posts see them."
The next thing to do is to make sure your friends don't share information about you that would reveal you are on Facebook. When they post photos, they will probably tag you. You don't want that because a tag shows that you are on Facebook. It's tough to do, but you need to make sure that you untag yourself from every picture they post. This is because you can't guarantee they have their photos set to private (which 90% of users don't). So if your parent were to browse their photos, and see your name under it as a tag, they could click it and link to your profile. To untag yourself, just go to your profile, and click on "Photos." Then, the first set of photos that appear are the ones your friends have posted and tagged you in. Click each one individually and untag yourself.
Once you untag yourself, there are a few more things you need to check. First, untag yourself from any posts your friends have made. (You know how you can type "@" and the person's name? Well that will show up and reveal that you have an account.) Just browse your wall for anything that looks like the picture below and click untag.
You will now want to ensure that your own photos are private by going to the "Photos" tab on your profile and clicking "Album Privacy" at the bottom.
Now, go through and make sure all of your albums including your profile pictures are set to Friends Only.
The last thing you want to do is to disable public searching for you. Remember earlier when we changed searching to only friends? Well, that was only for Facebook. People can still search for you on Google and see your basic profile. To change that, go back to the Privacy Page and click on "edit your settings" under "Applications and Websites" near the bottom left. Once there, change "Game and application activity" to only friends. Also, click edit settings next to "Info accessible through your friends" and uncheck everything.
Then, click edit settings next to "Public Search" and then uncheck the box on the next page. This will remove you from Google's and Yahoo's search results.
These steps will make your account "super private." But you still want to make sure you check your settings often and delete your browser history for total control. I am not responsible if your parents do find your Facebook account, and it is entirely possible they might. However, if you followed the steps here, the chances of them finding you are significantly lowered. Good luck, and try talking to them about it instead of hiding it!
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