Improving your Facebook privacy and security

This question has come up by a few friends recently so I thought I would cover a quick few items that make a huge difference in Facebook privacy.

Facebook has changed its interface over time. I think we all make a best effort to show what we want to the public but may not be aware of the various options available to us.

Please ask questions you have about this blog in either Twitter @Glirette or E-mail

Create lists to include friends into – This can be done by flicking the ‘F’ on the upper left side then clicking “Friends”


These are fairly large screenshot you can click to make it clearer.




It is a good idea to view your public Timeline in two ways:

1) How does your Timeline look to a person who is not currently your friend?

2) How does your Timeline look for a certain person who is your friend but not in any other lists?


Who can see your future posts? I have mine set to custom with a list name of semi-trusted. This way I can set posts and pictures to be viewed by this list only but still have friends be on Facebook without seeing them.


You set your default security for new posts by making a new post and choosing your sharing level. So I will sometimes make a dummy post which I delete setting the security to semi-trusted.


Limit The Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline:


“If you use this tool, content on your timeline you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public will change to Friends. Remember: people who are tagged and their friends may see those posts as well.

You also have the option to individually change the audience of your posts. Just go to the post you want to change and choose a different audience.”







By running this tool your previous posts will be set to security level of friends. This will remove the post from your public Timeline for posts that are currently viewable by people who are not your friends. This is assuming that the post was yours and not coming from someone else’s Timeline. If you are interested enough in my blog to read it I strongly suggest running this tool unless you have content you want to be visible to others who are not your friend.




Who can look me up?





This one is interesting because Facebook allows you to look someone up by phone number or E-mail address. It is actually very simple to go through Facebook and find someone’s phone number on Facebook using this method.  I would recommend one of two things here:




1) use a phone number that is not your main line. or

2) Set this to friends. Interestingly enough here you can guess someone’s phone number even though that person has their phone number set to only be viewable to themselves.


Keep in mind that if someone knows your phone number but not your name or anything else about you they can look you up on Facebook by default.






Hide friends – I think it is critical for everyone to hide their friend list. This list is often used by both attackers and stalkers to do all sorts of things. Be polite to your friends even if you don’t care about it yourself, hide your friend list!







You can hide everything in your about section of your profile except your sex. Facebook needs to ability to say “him” or “her”. Everything else can be shown or not depending on your preference.





One of the biggest items I see people looking over when they secure their profile myself included is hiding your group memberships. This is not a setting that you can put a list on for security so I would use “Manage Sections” to remove it and everything else that you are able to remove.



You cannot remove About, Photo’s, and Friends. You can limit what is in About to sex only. Limit Photo’s by using security although for profile and Timeline pic is always public. You can hide your friends as previously discussed.



Removing groups and interests from Timeline – View your public Timeline and click on the Manage section which looks like a Pen.








If you are unsure if you really want to unfriend someone just yet or want to limit what they see put them in the restricted list. You do this by going to your friends Timeline and on their cover photo where it said “Friends” click that and select “add to another list”. Once they are in restricted they basically see nearly the same as if they were not your friend.

If you are in any networks this is viewable to anyone who can see your Timeline which is everyone unless they are blocked.




Make use of the View As option to see what your Timeline looks like to a certain person.





Blocking people – If you have reason to not allow a certain person to see you on Facebook or that you would rather not see block them. Make generous use of block then later if needed you can go back and remove people.

This makes you and the person you blocked invisible to each other on Facebook, exception is games and apps that are on Facebook that both of you participate in. On that note I strongly suggest against playing any games on Facebook and limiting your applications for security reasons.



Hope this helped feel free to ask questions – Greg Lirette

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