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A Beginner's Guide To Facebook: Choosing The Right Privacy Settings On Facebook

Updated on June 6, 2012

Everyone is worried about their privacy on the web. Those new to Facebook may be especially concerned that the information they share may "fall into the wrong hands". But fear not, Facebook has made it easy to control who can see what you share. You just need to know how to choose the right Facebook privacy settings.

Facebook Privacy Settings Page

To change the default basic privacy settings on Facebook, login to Facebook and click on Account > Privacy Settings on the upper right corner of the page. This is what the privacy settings page looks like:

Facebook Privacy Settings Page
Facebook Privacy Settings Page

Which privacy settings should I choose?

There are four privacy control settings you can choose for each information type, and the settings you choose depends on how you want to share that particular category of information.

  • Everyone - Your information will become available to all Facebook users, whoever they are and wherever they may be.
  • Friends of Friends - Your information will be seen only by the people in your friends list and the people in their friends lists.
  • Friends Only - Your information will be seen only by the people in your friends list. Their friends will not be able to see it.
  • Custom - You can select specific people or groups of people who can view the information per category.

Facebook has recommended privacy settings that you can apply by clicking on Recommended. You can start with that and then work your way to customizing it exactly the way you want it. To use the privacy settings recommended by Facebook, select Recommended then click on Apply These Settings which you can see highlighted in blue below:

Privacy Settings Recommended By Facebook
Privacy Settings Recommended By Facebook

Now it's up to you to further customize your privacy settings by category and choose whether you want these information to be available to Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, or to selected friends or groups of friends only:

  • Your status, photos, and posts
  • Bio and favorite quotations
  • Family and relationships
  • Photos and videos you're tagged in
  • Religious and political views
  • Birthday
  • Permission to comment on your posts
  • Places you check in to
  • Contact information

To do so, click Customize settings shown encircled in red below:

Customize Settings
Customize Settings

In the page that opens, use the drop down menus beside each information category to select who you want the information to be available to.

Customize Settings Drop Down Menus
Customize Settings Drop Down Menus

If you want the information to be viewable only to specific people or groups of people, click Customize. Custom Privacy settings where you can further control your privacy will then appear.

Custom Privacy
Custom Privacy

Now that you know how to set the default basic privacy settings on Facebook, it's time to connect with friends and have some fun!


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    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 

      7 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Thanks for well presented information for FaceBoook you have eased my mind just a little!

    • Susan Ng profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ng Yu 

      8 years ago

      Well, if they're in your friends list as well, you can create a group named maybe "My Girlfriend's Friends", add all your girlfriend's friends to that group, then customize your photo sharing to allow the "My Girlfriend's Friends" group to view them. Otherwise, I don't think it's possible to share with friends of a specific friend. :O

    • LoganG profile image


      8 years ago from Florida

      Is it possible to share with friends of a specific friend? I want my girlfriend's friends to be able to see our photos but don't want to allow all "friends of friends".

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Great advice.. Thanks for sharing...


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