Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday Review—Stay Private & Safe on Facebook by Reviewing Your Settings

I talk to so many people every week who worry needlessly about their privacy settings on Facebook.

I talk to even more who should.

When anyone opens up a Facebook account, Facebook has certain default settings that that are the same for everyone. Some of these are ones that make me uncomfortable by allowing too many people to see my information. And that’s saying something because I really try to get found on the Internet, even with Facebook.

Today I’m going to walk you through the settings you need to keep what’s on Facebook private.

First, go to your personal profile and click on the little cog icon in the upper right corner. From the drop-down menu that appears, click PRIVACY.
On this screen these are settings you want:

Under: Who can see my Stuff?
  • Future posts—The default is PUBLIC, and if you want to change that you have to change it every time you post something.
  • Review all your posts—I have that set as USE ACTIVITY LOG.
  • Previous posts—I have that set as LIMIT PAST POSTS.

Under: Who can look me up?
  • Using Email and/or Phone number—I have EVERYONE because I want to be found. But if you’re new to FB and a little nervous, limit it to FRIENDS.
  • Search Engines—I have that set to ON, and I recommend everyone use that setting.

Second, move to Timeline and Tagging. You’ll find it in the list at the left of the page, under privacy. This is where your biggest changes will be.
Under: Who can add things to my timeline?
  • Who can post—change this to FRIENDS.
  • Review posts—I leave that off, otherwise it generates a lot of email asking your permission every time someone posts something on FB.

Under: Who can see things on my timeline?
  • Review what other people see—leave that setting as is.
  • Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in—set this to FRIENDS.
  • Who can see who other post—set this to FRIENDS.

Under: How can I manage tags other people add & tagging suggestions?
  • Review tags people add—set to OFF, again if you don’t you’ll generate lots of email.
  • When you’re tagged—change to FRIENDS.
  • Who sees tag suggestions—change to FRIENDS.

Third, move to Blocking. Here you don’t need to change any settings, but you can review people and applications you’ve blocked.

Fourth, Now move to Notifications. On this page there is only one setting I suggest you change.
  • Under What you get notified about—Change tags to FRIENDS OF FRIENDS.

Fifth, is Mobile, and nothing changes here so move on to Followers. This is something you might wish to do if you don’t want to have a professional page. You can allow people to either, ADD YOU AS A FRIEND or FOLLOW on your personal profile. If you decide to enable that, I recommend you check the box that starts with, Followers will only see your public posts.

Enabling these simple settings will keep your information safe, no matter what anyone else has their FB account settings listed as.

Now it’s your turn. What questions do you have about settings or about Facebook in general?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. Thanks Edie. I changed one or two things, but mostly I had it right. I appreciate it!

    1. Ellen, I'm glad this post helped and really glad you already had the information you needed. Blessings, E

  2. Thank you, Edie! Great post. I made some needed changes. Love your social media wisdom.

    1. Thank you, Cindy, for stopping by and for your kind words! Blessings, E

  3. Edie, this is a great post. I agree with Cindy, your social media wisdom is great! Of course, you're great at everything! Oh wait, I think I may be biased! Love you!

    1. Thank you, Jamie! And yes you are definitely biased! Blessings, E

  4. Thanks, Edie. I passed this along to my friends, as well. Kay

  5. Always appreciate the social media tips

  6. Thanks Edie, On my way now to check and make sure I have all these items in place.