You might think you have your privacy settings on Facebook locked down, but you might want to double check: you’d be surprised what you can find out.
Social Media Cassie did some digging on one person the other day for a bit, and found out everything from the girl’s job, Twitter, and Instagram feed to where her mom and dad live (this girl didn’t even have them listed as ‘family’) to where her brother and sister went to college, and then figured out from there where this girl went to high school, (not listed either), and where she was and had been over the past few days…and that’s just to start.
Facebook search settings have changed so now that everyone can be found in search, so now privacy settings are even more important. Protect yourself from identity thieves (or even having future potential employers find out about your Thirsty Thursday drinking club shots habits) by using these steps to make sure your profile is locked down and your private information is safe.
Step 1: Navigating To Your Privacy Settings
Hit the gear symbol in the upper right hand corner, then select “Privacy Settings.”
Step 2: Editing Your Settings
Click “Edit” on the first line (across from “Who Can See My Stuff”). This lets you edit who can see your future posts.
If you keep posts set as “public,” then everyone in the world can see your post. Or, you can select a Facebook list (learn how to make one, here – they can be a HUGE help for privacy settings) and edit it that way. You can always edit post privacy on the fly as you go to post them, but putting this setting in place will ensure you don’t accidentally post something as “public” if you meant it to be for friends only.
The “Custom” function lets you exclude certain people…say, you want everyone except your mom to see your posts. Voila. Or maybe you only want a certain group – like your friend list of your closest girlfriends – to see your posts. Same idea.
Step 3: Keeping Your Other Information Private
Finish selecting the rest of your privacy settings in this section. Decide if you want everyone in the world to be able to friend request you…or just friends of friends. You can set a privacy setting for ALL of your past posts en masse, and decide if you want to be searchable via your email address.
Step 4: Timeline and Tagging Settings
Decide who can tag you in photos, see the posts you’ve been tagged in by friends, and who can write on your wall. You can also make the call on whether or not you want to review tags of yourself in photos or posts before they go public.
Step 5: Security & Login Locations
Every once and a while, check on your “Security” tab (on the left hand menu side.) At the bottom, you can see all the places / devices you’re logged into Facebook from. See how one below says “New Jersey?” That’s a location that’s out of the norm for this user…gonna go ahead and end that session by clicking “End Activity.”
Step 6: Privacy Settings Short Cut
If you want to quickly get to your privacy settings for small updates, you can always click the little lock on your top navigation bar.
Step 7: Activity Log
Once you click the privacy settings shortcut button, select “Who Can See My Stuff?” Then, click “Use Activity Log.”
From here, you can edit every single past post you’ve ever done, and decide whether to keep it public, lock it down, or delete it. You can see who else can see your posts or photos and report or remove tags of yourself.
Or you can unlike posts you’ve previously liked…
Step 8: Photo Privacy
Go into the album and edit each individual photo from there.
For other albums that you’ve created, you can select the privacy of each entire album instead of each individual picture. Go to your “Photos,” then select “Albums.” From your albums page, just click on the globe (or picture of people) in the lower right hand corner of each album and select your settings from there.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: Whenever you post anything, keep in mind that it’s still on the internet. It’s your PERMANENT RECORD. Your friends can take your photos and put them out there without realizing you want them to stay private, and never EVER post personal information: your address, Social Security Number, and even be careful listing your full birthday.