Make your Facebook more private Adjust profile privacy settings

Make your Facebook more private Adjust profile privacy settings

Facebook Privacy

Facebook is not just a social media platform for connecting with friends and colleagues; it also holds a treasure trove of personal data. Without the proper privacy settings, much of this information could be on public display. While you can’t control who Facebook sells your data to, you can take steps to ensure that other users can’t see your information unless you want them to.

There are two quick options to make your Facebook profile completely private without tweaking individual settings. Deactivating your account hides most of your information, but you can reactivate your profile whenever you want. Another option is to delete your Facebook account, which is more extreme but will permanently remove your data from the site.

If you’d rather maintain your account, here’s how to make your Facebook private:

Understanding Facebook Privacy Levels

Facebook generally offers four levels of privacy for your account and posts:

  • Public: Anyone with a link can see it, even if they don’t have a Facebook account.
  • Friends: Only people on your friends list can see it. You can exclude certain friends from seeing specific posts.
  • Friends of friends: Anyone who shares a mutual friend with you can see it.
  • Only me: The most private option, where only you can see the content.

To make your Facebook as private as possible, it’s recommended to choose Only me whenever possible.

Accessing the Facebook Privacy Menu

While some privacy settings are available on the mobile app, you’ll need to access Facebook’s desktop version to find all of them. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Facebook website and log into your account.
  2. Click your profile picture in the top-right corner and select Settings & Privacy in the menu that appears.
  3. In the submenu, click Settings.
  4. On the Settings page, click Privacy in the left sidebar.

This will take you to the Privacy Settings and Tools page, where you can customize various privacy options.

Making Your Posts Private

On the Privacy Settings and Tools page, you’ll find the Your Activity section to change who can see your posts, posts you’ve been tagged in, and the pages you follow. Here’s what you can do:

  • Click Who can see your future posts? to set the privacy settings for all your future posts.
  • Click Who can see the people, Pages, and lists you follow? to control who can see your activity.
  • Use the options Review all your posts and Limit the audience for posts to edit privacy settings for previously uploaded content.

Hiding Your Profile from Public View

If you’re concerned about who can find and view your Facebook profile, utilize the How People Find and Contact You tools. These options can help keep your profile hidden:

  • Click Who can send you friend requests to limit who can send you friend requests.
  • The Who can see your friends list? option hides your friends list from others.
  • Adjust the settings for Who can look you up using the email address you provided? and Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? to control who can find you based on contact information.
  • Use the Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile? option to hide your profile from search engine results.

Managing Message Requests

To limit who can message you and manage message requests, navigate to the How You Get Message Requests section:

  • Under Potential Connections, choose where messages from people who have your phone number and/or mutual friends should go.
  • Under Other people, define the message reception behavior for those you’re not connected to and Instagram users.

Setting Privacy for Individual Facebook Posts

In addition to general account settings, you can also customize the privacy settings for individual posts. This means you can keep your Facebook profile private while making specific posts public or vice versa. Here’s how:

  1. When creating a Facebook post, click the dropdown button under your name.
  2. In the menu that appears, select the desired privacy setting.

Once you’ve made a post, only the chosen audience will be able to see it.

Privacy Checkup and Reminders

It’s easy to forget to update your privacy settings as your needs change. Luckily, Facebook provides a Privacy Checkup tool that allows you to set reminders to periodically review and update your privacy settings. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Open the Facebook website and log into your account.
  2. Click your profile picture in the top-right corner and select Settings & Privacy in the menu.
  3. In the submenu, click Privacy Checkup.
  4. On the next screen, click the three horizontal dots and select Set up reminders.
  5. In the pop-up, choose when you want Facebook to remind you to check your privacy settings and click Save.

By taking these steps, you can ensure greater control over your Facebook privacy, maintaining the level of confidentiality you desire. Remember, it’s essential to regularly review and update your privacy settings to adapt to changing circumstances.

Jennifer Still contributed to a previous version of this article.