May 7, 2012

10 tips to protect your privacy on Facebook

How to block peepers (or your boss) from seeing your personal profile on Facebook? Facebook has many privacy controls, and keeps changing them. Luckily, Facebook now puts most of its privacy settings in one place, under the Account link. Now, in this article, we will see how to take a full control of your profile, apps, and contact details, and wall posts.

An example of unwise post update

1. Create Friends Lists

Friends Lists enable us to filter contents easier. The fastest way to create lists: click Home on the main menu bar, then click Friends on the left sidebar. You will see Create a List on top of the page. Create names for your lists, for example "Work" or "Best Friends," then choose friends who you want to include into the lists.

2. Add friends into existing lists

If you find out that several people aren't included yet into the lists, you can choose and add them into lists. Click Account, Edit Friends. You will see list of all your friends, just click "Add to list" next to each friend. You can also add new friends into lists after you invited or accepted their invitations.

3. Protect your status updates

Facebook has four privacy levels on default: Friends, Friends and Networks, Friends of Friends, and Everyone. All things that you can see on Facebook, from wall posts to pictures, are limited by one of these privacy levels. But, you can create exceptions by creating lists. Open your profile, and go to Wall. Click your status update, but before you post it, click Privacy button. It looks like a padlock with an arrow next to it. Choose Customize. On the box Hide this from, choose the list name. Click OK and your status will be hidden from people on the list.

4. Hide Wall posts

To hide wall posts from a list, click Account, Privacy Setting. On the Sharing on Facebook section, click Customize settings. There three entries that impact wall post: Posts by me, Can see Wall posts by friends and Can comment on posts. They all can be filtered by lists. Click Privacy and drop down when you want to post something on your wall, and click Customize. Click list names from the Hide from button.

5. Prevent Spam notifications

There is nothing that more disturbing than apps that automatically spam you whenever they update something. If there are update notifications from Farmville or Mafia Wars from your friends appear on your feed, point your cursor on the updates. A "x" button will show. When it is clicked, you will be given options to hide all posting from the related apps.

6. Don't tag embarrassing pictures/ photos

You can't prevent people from tagging your picture when you drunken and were dancing above the table. But, you can prevent people from seeing the tag. Open Privacy Settings, and choose Profile Information. Next to Photos and videos I'm tagged in, choose Custom, and then choose only me from Make this visible option.

7. Hide yourself from Facebook Search

Are people, who you don't like, found you on Facebook, and send invitations? This situation can be prevented if you disappear from Facebook Search. Again, go to Privacy Settings, and then go to Search. You can manage it, so only your favorite friends who can find you.

8. Hide your profile from Google Search

How if your unwanted friends are more persistent. So, they use Google to find your Facebook profile. Don't worry. On Privacy Setting, click Edit Settings, next to Public Search. Remove the check mark on the Enable public search button. Wait for several days, and your Facebook profile will be missing from Google search.

9. Block disturbing apps

Several apps, including app that were installed by your friends, use pictures and even your profile data on their update. Stop their access to your data by go to Edit settings, under Applications and Websites. Important setting here is Info accessible through your friends. The list of data that are available seem scary. But, don't worry, remove the check mark on every disturbing app, and your privacy will keep protected.

10. Hide your contact details

You can hide certain contact details from certain people. For instance, you don't want your co-workers see your phone numbers. First, choose or create friend lists contain people who you want to exclude. Under Sharing on Facebook option, click Customize Settings. Then, click Other phone, and Customize to hide your number from the people on the lists.

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