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5 Facebook Privacy Settings You May Have Missed

Missed Facebook Privacy Settings

When I coach people on how to use Facebook I emphasize that although Facebook encourages you to share, you are ultimately in control of how you share your data. Yes there is data Facebook considers public – your name, profile picture, gender, cover photo, networks, and username.

All else on Facebook you control, that is if you can find how to set your privacy options!  Facebook recently added a Privacy Shortcuts link to its top blue menu bar (desktop)  to help you access your Privacy Settings.  You can click on See More Settings from Privacy Shortcuts to see additional Privacy and Account settings.

However some Facebook Privacy Settings are not as obvious or easy to find.  Here are 5 that you may have missed and how to navigate them from your desktop (mobile experience will vary):

1.  Set privacy for your Friends List –  do you want others to be able to view your Friends List?  Click on Friends from your Timeline, then look for the pencil at the top right of the list.  When you click on this pencil you can edit your privacy settings for your Friends List as well as those you Follow. (Note you automatically Follow your Friends.  You can also Follow others without becoming their Friend if they have enabled this feature.)

2.  Opt out of appearing in Facebook Ads–  Do you want your name and/or profile picture to appear in a Facebook or Third party ad? There are two settings to take a look at, which give permission to pair your social actions (a Like of a business for example) with an ad.  One is a Facebook ad, the other is an ad on another website (however this is not a current feature). Click on Privacy Shortcuts, See More Settings, then Ads.  Choose Edit in two places – for Third Party Sites, also Ads and Friends, so you can select the No One option to opt out.  Don’t forget to Save Changes.

3.  Opt out of receiving Facebook Ads based upon  your web browsing activity outside of Facebook.  Do you want to see ads on Facebook based upon your online browsing/shopping?  Perhaps handy, perhaps creepy.  Click on Privacy Shortcuts, See More Settings, then Ads.  There is an Opt Out option within Website and Mobile App Custom Audiences.  If you do choose to Opt Out, note that if you at a later time clear your browser cookies, you will have to opt out again.

4.  Restricted List – add a “friend “ to your Restricted list.  If you do, they will only see items you post publicly.  Handy if you confirm a friend request for someone you are uncomfortable sharing with.  They will not know you have restricted them. Click on Privacy Shortcuts, See More Settings, then Blocking, then Edit next to Restricted List.  Alternatively click on Friends on the Cover Photo of the Timeline of your friend, Add to Another List (if Restricted is not shown), and click on Restricted.

5.  Share Options for Your Personal Data: Do you know whom you are sharing your personal data with?  Click on Update Info from the bottom of your Cover Photo.  Each item of information has an icon which depicts your share option.  If you don’t see one, click on the Edit pop up when you hover over the item.  Click on the icon to see/set your sharing preference.  Again, don’t forget to Save Changes.  You may be surprised at what info you are sharing publicly.

Hope this post helps you take fuller control of your Facebook sharing.  Periodically check the Settings pages, as Facebook does at times change wording and setting options.  Happy sharing (or not)!

 

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Avoiding Friends on Facebook

Ok, yes I know the idea behind Facebook is to find friends and be connected.  So you joined Facebook to connect with relatives and friends, and just when you think you are done you have more friend requests.  Then you friend acquaintances, and before you know it your News Feed is jammed with a lot of stuff you don’t care about.  If that sounds like your News Feed it is time to hide from some of these “friends”.

Now, how do you hide News Feed posts  from someone without their knowledge so you don’t hurt their feelings?

The simplest way to ban someone from your News Feed, and they will never know, is to go to their Profile or Timeline, click on the Friends button (the one with the check mark and next to the Message button), and click on the Show in News Feed option from the dropdown.  Clicking on items in this dropdown will add or remove the check mark.  In this case a check mark indicates updates will show, no check mark means they won’t show.  No muss no fuss!

If that is too drastic and you don’t want to ban all posts from this friend in your News Feed, this dropdown also allows you to select which type of updates you want to appear in your News Feed.  Additionally the dropdown also gives you the opportunity to Unfriend.  If you do unfriend your former friend does not get a notification but they will find out they are no longer your friend if they try to visit your Profile/Timeline.

An alternative way to trim your News Feed is to click in the top right corner of a post on your News Feed.  The dropdown will give you choices to Unsubscribe, or to receive All Updates, Most Updates, or Only Important Updates.  Facebook is deciding here what is important or what to not show based upon its own algorithm.  For more control over what updates to receive, use the method from a friend’s Profile/Timeline described above.

Don’t forget that your News Feed has a Most Recent and Top Stories Sort or filter (top right corner of your News Feed).   It is likely you have already missed some of your friend’s posts anyway.   If you are interested in what you’ve missed, the best way to review all posts from a particular friend is to go directly to their Profile or Timeline.

Now, what if you don’t want your friends to see your posts?  Then you want to add them to your Restricted List.  By doing so, they will only see posts that you share publicly.  Navigate to Privacy Settings, Blocked People and Apps, click on Manage Blocking,  and then click on Edit List from  Add Friends to your Restricted List.  They will never know!

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