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How to Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

By Edited May 28, 2015 0 0

Are you wary of who can see what on Facebook?  Are you starting to think that you need to use Facebook but you don’t want your work friends to see personal posts?  Or there is someone from your past who you don’t want to stumble on your page?  There are ways of hiding EVERYTHING from everyone but your friends, but there are also ways of letting certain friends see things that other friends don’t.  This article will cover the most pertinent information you may want to keep private. 

So if you are looking for a way to hide specific information, skim through the headings below.  But if you are looking for a quick way to prevent the general public from seeing any of your posts or photos, you can set the default easily.

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Section 1:  General Privacy:  Keep information from being public
Before you even start posting, once you open an account there may be specific information about you listed on your profile that anyone who stumbles on your page will see.  Here are the first steps you should take when you create a Facebook account:

Default Privacy Settings
Click Home.
Click Privacy Settings.
Select Public, Friends or Custom (more on custom below).

Blocking People
If you know of a specific person who you don’t want to find your page, you can do this.  It’s especially important if you have ever Emailed this person before, because your name and photo will pop up periodically on their own Facebook page as “People you might know.”
Click Home.
Click Privacy Settings.
Scroll to the bottom, “Blocked People and Apps” and click Manage Blocking
Enter the name or Email of anyone you would like to block. 

Hide your birthday
Click on your name.
Click Edit Profile.
Under Birthday, you can choose to hide your birthday from the public or show your day and month but hide the year.

Hide your gender
Click on your name.
Click Edit Profile.
Under “I Am” you can uncheck the box that says “Show my sex in my profile.”

Section 2:  General Privacy:  Keep information from being public
Now that you’ve hidden everything by default, you can go back in and make some things public if you want to.  Or if you chose a public default setting because there are just a couple things you want to remain private, here are is how:

Hide your location, sexual orientation, and “About Me”
How to Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

Click on your name.
Click Edit Profile.
Next to each of these topics you will see the silhouette of a bust and a triangle.  When you click on the triangle you have the following options:
*Public
*Only Me
*Friends
*Certain Lists
*Custom
Select who you would like to see each bit of information (for more information on lists and “custom” see section 3 under “Customized Privacy Settings).

Hide your contact information (Email address, phone number, address, and website)
Click on your name.
Click Edit Profile.
Click “Contact Information” over on the left.
Next to each of these topics you will see the silhouette of a bust and a triangle.  When you click on the triangle you have the following options:
*Public
*Only Me
*Friends
*Certain Lists
*Custom
Select who you would like to see each bit of information.

Hide your relationship status, family members, and friends
Click on your name.
Click Edit Profile.
Click “Friends and Family” over on the left.
Next to each of these topics you will see the silhouette of a bust and a triangle.  When you click on the triangle you have the following options:
*Public
*Only Me
*Friends
*Certain Lists
*Custom
Select who you would like to see each bit of information.

Hide your employer, college, or high school
Click on your name.
Click Edit Profile.
Click “Education and work” over on the left.
Next to each of these topics you will see the silhouette of a bust and a triangle.  When you click on the triangle you have the following options:
*Public
*Only Me
*Friends
*Certain Lists
*Custom
Select who you would like to see each bit of information.

Hide your religion or political views
Click on your name.
Click Edit Profile.
Click “Philosophy” over on the left.
Next to each of these topics you will see the silhouette of a bust and a triangle.  When you click on the triangle you have the following options:
*Public
*Only Me
*Friends
*Certain Lists
*Custom
Select who you would like to see each bit of information.

Hide your musical interests, favorite books, movies, television and games
Click on your name.
Click Edit Profile.
Click “Arts and Entertainment” over on the left.
Next to each of these topics you will see the silhouette of a bust and a triangle.  When you click on the triangle you have the following options:
*Public
*Only Me
*Friends
*Certain Lists
*Custom
Select who you would like to see each bit of information.

Hide your favorite sports teams
Click on your name.
Click Edit Profile.
Click “Sports” over on the left.
Next to each of these topics you will see the silhouette of a bust and a triangle.  When you click on the triangle you have the following options:
*Public
*Only Me
*Friends
*Certain Lists
*Custom
Select who you would like to see each bit of information.

Hide specific posts
You can post things that are only for specific people.  There are two different ways to do this, but don’t worry.  One is automatically done by Facebook so it’s easy to manage.  These two ways are called “Lists” and “Groups.”

Section 3:  Customized Privacy Settings:  Allowing certain people to see specific information

Once you have completed the above information, only your friends will be able to see what you post.  But as your page develops and you become more active on Facebook, you might find yourself wanting to post some things for your close friends that aren’t exactly appropriate for your work friends to see.  If you want to hide certain information from certain people, such as your phone number from people you talk to online, or your religious affiliation from people you work with, you can categorize your friends.  Here are some topics you might want to hide, and how to do it.

Creating Lists
This is automatically done by Facebook.  It creates a list of any friends you’ve added if you’ve indicated that they are Family, any friends you’ve added who have your place of employment listed as their own place of employment, and any friends you’ve added who attended the same school as you.  If you want to post something that only they can see:
Click Home
Click Lists on the left for a complete, um, list of lists. 
Click the group name of the people you want to see your post.
Write your status update.

Creating Groups
If you have a group of friends who don’t fall into the default categories Facebook gives you, such as “Online Friends,” you can create your own “List,” and post in the same way, except for Facebook has dubbed your own custom list, “Groups.” 

To create the group:
Click Home
On the left click “Create Group”
Enter your group name
Type in the names of Friends to add to the group. 
Select the privacy settings (closed means no one will see the posts, and secret means people who aren’t in the group won’t see the name of the group or know that they’re excluded from it)

Post in the group:
Click Home
Click the group on the left
Write your post

The Custom Feature
In addition to utilizing Lists and Groups, anytime you see the word “Custom,” you will have the following options:
*Friends of Friends
*Friends
*Specific people 
If you want only specific people to see the information, simply type this information in the box.
You can also make this information accessible to any of the above except for one person.  Simply type that information in the box under “Hide this from.”
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