Making your Facebook private

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I’ve been asked to help many people with locking down their Facebook either for themselves after being separated/divorced so their spouse can’t see all their activity, or for their children to make sure public in general can’t see them, especially school bullies viewing their profiles even though they are not friends.  Hackers use this to gain information about you to figure out your passwords via social engineering.  Trust me, most of you are using one or more of your passwords that contain your pets name, or favorite book or TV show which is all in your Facebook page.  Keep it private!

There is confusion and businesses that are not using Facebook properly. There are two ways of using Facebook; one is as a private individual which you would share personal and sometimes “inappropriate for business” information with friends and family.  The second way of using Facebook is as a business for advertising and sharing information.  For business you would create a page that people can “Like” so they can follow your business, rather than force them to become friends which means not only can they follow all your posts which you want, but you (the business) can now see all their personal posts which they probably didn’t think about.

Now that you understand the difference, if you are a business, you should be using a proper business page (Which is still free by the way) and let people know to “Like” your page by sending them an email and having a link to it from your website.  This actually shows great support for your business seeing how many “Likes” you have, rather than just how many friends you have.

Some of you I know have your personal Facebook page strictly for business, but you are still getting people to be friends with you which is not fair.  Rather than start all over with creating a business page, what you can suggest though is that they use the “Follow” option, so they can follow you without being friends.  It’s nothing personal, just that your customers or potential customers need to keep their personal page personal while following your not so personal page.  If you are the customer reading this and a business is sending a friend request, tell them to read this article.

How do I make my personal page private from the public?

OK, so now that we understand the purpose of this article, here’s how you can lock down your personal page.  It’s changed a bit over the years and from my last post a few years back.  There are a few steps involved which I’ll break down below.

    1. Click on the down arrow that is to the right of the question mark located at the top right corner of your Facebook page.
    2. Click on Settings as selected in red in the screen shot here.
    3. On the page that appears, click on “Privacy” on the right side of the screen.
      There are a few options to change which is better explained with another screenshot.
    4. As per the screenshot you can see how I have mine setup as an example.  The first category is “Who can see my stuff?”  and the first option in the top category is “Who can see your future posts?  You probably have it saying “Public”.  Click “Edit” to the right of that and choose “Friends”.  I have “Friends except…” because I have special exceptions.  You can do that too if you want.  Ultimately if you don’t want someone to see your posts, they shouldn’t be a friend on Facebook.  With that said, click “Close” and it collapses that section.
    5. The 2nd option is just for you to review but lets skip it for now.  The 3rd option is “Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or public”.  This means all your posts from the beginning of time that currently are view-able by stalkers and hackers, you will make invisible so only people that are your friends on Facebook can see those posts.  Click on “Limit Past Posts” to the right of that wording.
      Then click the button that appears on the bottom of that saying “Limit old posts”.  Click “Confirm” and then click “Close” on the windows that pop up.  then click “Close” again to collapse that section.
    6. The rest of the options on this page you can look at and read about and change as you desire, but not as critical.  They are pretty self explanatory.
    7. Click on your name at the top to go to your profile page now.  There is a bit more work ahead of you but this is the last part and repetitive.
    8. On your profile page, click “About” to see all your friends, favorite TV shows, Movies, books, etc.  We need to go through each one of these and make them private.
    9. So while viewing your “About” page start scrolling down slowly until you get to the first section which is “Friends”.  As per the screen shot below, click on the picture of the pencil in the top right corner and select “Edit Privacy”
    10. Make sure if it says “Public” that you click on it and change to “Friends” as per screen shot below and click “Done” on that popup window.
    11. Continue to scroll down on this page through the next sections, clicking on the same pencil icon and selecting “Edit Privacy” and doing the same thing changing “Public” to “Private”. The screens will look slighting different with different descriptions for that category, but basically you don’t want anyone looking at any of these things unless they are a friend.
    12. Some categories won’t have the option to change such as photos, videos, groups, events.
    13. The categories you are looking for are Friends, Sports, Music, Movies, TV shows, Books, Apps and Games, Likes (Likes have two options, be sure to edit both)
    14. Once you are all done you can test it and see what it would look like to the public.  At the
      top of your profile page, beside “View activity Log” are three dots.  Click on that button and select “View as”.  You will then get a message telling you that you will be viewing your page as if you were a stranger (Hacker, stalker).  It should only show your profile pic, banner and basic info.  No posts should be showing or any of your friends or favorite anything.  Except for Groups etc as I mentioned that are currently not an option to block.
    15. You’re done!  Congratulations.  If you found this helpful and want to show your support for me, please “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/twinbytesinc

 

About Daniel Gauthier

work as a peace officer in various forms. Daniel wrote a book in 2009 called “Tech-Knowledgy” which got him on television and radio a few times. The concept behind the book was “to level the playing field between computer techs and non-techies so they don’t get take advantage of”.
Daniel has a couple certifications including MCP and A+; he is preparing to write the Network+ exam and has studied CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and CHFI (Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator). Daniel has run his own computer service business “TwinBytes” since 2004. He has done a few talks on cyber security and generally enjoys training, educating and helping others.