How to stay safe on Facebook

facebookNow that you have set up your new Facebook profile it is time to think about who you want to share information with.

On Facebook your name, profile and cover photos, gender, the networks you belong to and your user name are always available to anyone who wants to see them or does a search either on Facebook or through a search engine. 

You cannot change this but you can restrict your posts (these are pieces of information, jokes, events and shared links that you choose to put on your timeline) and your photos to different audiences. Remember if you choose Public everyone can see what you are talking about including people you do not know!

This guide will help you understand all of Facebook's privace features and help you control what you share and what you dont share.

Step 1: Managing privacy

To manage your privacy click on the arrow next to the question mark at the top of your Facebook page. Next click on Settings.

click on settings

The following window will open. Note this is also where you will find how to change your security.

privacy settings

Step 2: Choosing who you share with

Your first decision is on who you would like to share your posts with. There are several options on who can see what you put there.  The default setting is Friends – this, of course, refers to your Facebook friends.  You also have the option to exclude specific people who are in the friends list but you may not know so well and don’t want to share certain things with.

Many of us know people via our other friends and the Friends of Friends allows us to share posts with them too. If you would like to only share with a select handful of people then select Specific Friends – a list of all your friends will appear and you can click on the ones that you want to share with.

Only Me - this option is for when you have written something but may not want to share it immediately. Once you are ready it is easy to change the setting to one of the Friends options.

Step 4: Blocking and restricting

There is also the option to Block people. Sometimes used if, for instance, you have a friend who may be prone to inappropriate comments or who you no longer wish to share any parts of your life with. There are many options with the most common being “Block users” where you are able to type in either their Facebook name or their email address and then click block.  This option means that they will see nothing that you post nor will they have access to your page and they can’t contact you through chat or tag you in posts.

blocking

Manage blocking also gives you the option to decide who is allowed to send you messages, chat with you and allows you to stop pages (see our guide Using Chat or Messenger on Facebook) from contacting you

timeline and tagging settings

Step 6: Privacy check up on IPhone

A  Privacy “check up” is available in both computer and mobile app versions at any time that you might want to reassure yourself that you are taking the right precautions.

To access this on an iPhone first open the Facebook app and click on the three lines in the bottom right hand corner. This will give you access to a variety of details regarding shortcuts and settings.  Under settings you will see Privacy Shortcuts – click on this

privacy check up on iphone

Facebook will now show you what information is held and who can see it. Don’t forget that you are not only protecting yourself from things like identity theft  but also your friends so please look at your settings very carefully.  For instance,  if your friends list is set to ‘Friends’  hackers and scammers might use this to create a cloned profile and then target everyone on that your friends list. If the scammer doesn’t know who you are friends with, then it’s virtually impossible for them to do this.

The more settings you have set to “Only Me” the more secure you will be. Your real friends will already know how to get in touch with you (or when your birthday is).

privacy check up

Step 7: App privacy

Click on the drop down menus to change the privacy of your Facebook apps

apps
 

Remember only share your information with people you know, if you are no longer using an app or you signed up for it accidentally then delete it from your profile.
 
We hope this guide has helped you to learn how the privacy settings work on Facebook, why don't you check out our other Facebook guides in the Next Steps links below
 

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