Talking tech since 2003

One of the biggest concerns among Facebook users is privacy. Many users will tell you that they don’t want everyone seeing the pictures they post of their kids and/or their personal information, but that Facebook’s privacy controls are confusing and can be hard to navigate. So, in response to the complaints, the social network rolled out new privacy control settings at the end of December that are more user-friendly.

The important thing to know about privacy on Facebook is what the defaults are and how to change them. A privacy shortcuts menu with a small lock icon at the upper right hand corner of every Facebook page now gives you easier to find options.


1) Posts: by default, everyone can see your posts. To change this, click “privacy settings,” under the small lock icon, then click edit next to “Who can see your future posts?” There you can change this to public, friends, only me, or custom.

2) Look Up: By default, everyone can look you up on Facebook. To change this, click “privacy settings,” under the small lock icon, then click edit next to “Who can look me up?” There you can change this to everyone, friends or friends of friends. You can also control who can find you in search engine. In the same areas you can select not to have search engines link to your timeline.

3) Timeline: By default, friends can post on your timeline. If you want to be the only one able to do this, you can do the same thing as above but click “Timeline and Tagging” instead of “Privacy.” There you can change who can post and see posts on your timeline. It also gives you the option to review posts you’re tagged in before they appear.


4) Tagged photos: By default, your photos can be seen by friends of people tagged in your photos (this was how a picture of Mark Zuckerberg was tweeted, causing a family uproar). If you don’t want your photo or post to be visible to the friends of the people you tag, you can also adjust this setting under “Timeline and Tagging.” Simply click the option for “If you’re tagged in a post, who to you want to add to the audience if they aren’t already in it?” After that, you can adjust to this to friends, only me, or custom.

5) Blocking: Facebook still gives you the option to restrict some users to only information that you make public. You also have the option to block people from being your friend or interacting with you, blocking invites from certain people and blocking certain apps.  Facebook also updated its Activity Log so its easier for users to remove content.  To go to activity log, click on “privacy” under “privacy settings” and click on “use activity log” next to “review all posts and things you’re tagged in.”   There, you can remove a tag from a photo or set up a filter to show “invisible” photos, in which you’re tagged but that aren’t showing up in your feed.  You can also ask to remove or report pictures or posts you find there.

We hope this helps you tame those pesky privacy settings on Facebook.  If you have any questions or have something else to add, feel free to leave a comment!

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