5 ways to beef up your Facebook privacy
Many of us have no idea how open our Facebook accounts are. As part of 'The Takeover' series, here are 5 easy ways to make yours more private.
You have a whole range of options to turn your profile into Fortress Facebook. If you really want, you could turn your profile into one that no one can find and no one can see. Of course, this kind of defeats the purpose of social media, but the options are there if you want them.
On the top right of your Facebook page is a little downwards arrow - click on that and go to Settings.
This is the place where you can throw up as many walls around your profile as you please.
In the bar on the left is one called 'Privacy'. You can do a whole range of things here:
Decide who can see any of your future or past posts (can be just you if you want).
Who can send you a friend request (you can limit to friends of friends).
Who can look up your Facebook account according to the phone number or email you provided.
If anyone can look up your profile on Google.
In the same settings area, on the left-hand side, is a 'Blocking' section where you can block almost anyone or anything, including messages, app invites and event invites from any specific person.
The most curious feature is the first one. The first blocking option lets you basically demote 'Friends' to half-friends. If you put someone on the restricted list they can only see the posts you make available to the public, but not the ones to your friends.
Once again it begs the question as to why a certain individual would be your friend in the first place, unless of course you're a young adult trying to hide certain information from your folks. Because you can't just refuse a friend request from your mum, can you?
A lot of apps on your phone ask permission to access information on your Facebook account, including your name, any personal information and even friends lists. You can go ahead and block any (or all) information to any of these apps.
In the same settings page go to 'Apps' in the bar on the left and select any app to change what information you give out.
On the Apps page you can also stop yourself automatically signing in to different Apps using your Facebook account, other people using your profile information in their Apps and more.
It's not only settings where you can build a Berlin Wall around your online real estate.
Click on your name up the top.
Go down to just under your name where it says 'Activity Log'.
Click on the '...' next to 'Activity Log'.
Click on 'View As'.
Now you can see what your profile looks like to a member of the public. This can be the moment you realise your boss has already seen all your drunken antics and it's far too late to do anything about it.
This screen also lets you see what your profile looks like to any particular person.
Go up to the black bar at the top of the screen, go to the left and click on 'View as a Specific Person'.
Type in the name and see what your aunty or work acquaintance or anyone else can see.
Once again, prepare to be horrified.
You can change the status of any of your posts at any time.
Go down to your first post, where there is a tiny downwards arrow in the top right corner of the post. Click on it.
In this menu you can change the date of the post, turn off notifications for the post, un-tag yourself or even hide it from your timeline.
At the top of the post you can also select who you want to see the post. Go to the little globe symbol at the top of the post and click on it.
Here you can see who can see the post on you page - it will be something like 'Public' or 'Friends of Friends' or 'Friends.' If you click on that it will take you to another, where you can select who can see posts on your timeline.
Once again, if you really want to, you can block anyone but yourself from seeing your posts. Again, it begs the question as to why you'd have a Facebook account in the first place.
So at one end of the spectrum you can let anyone in the world see anything about your life, and at the other end no one can see anything about you, at all.