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Facebook – Basic Privacy Controls

September 11, 2012

To get to your privacy settings, click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page, and choose Privacy Settings. This page contains a group of general controls for your Facebook account, such as who can send you friend requests and messages. For everything else that you share on Facebook, you can choose your audience right when you post.

On your own timeline

Your controls are right next to each thing you share. Use the audience selector to choose who can see what you’re sharing. The audience you choose appears along with whatever you are saying. You can also use the tool to change who you are sharing with after you post.

Have something you only want to share with a few friends? Send a message,create a group, or share with a friend list of your choice.

Your posts that are not on your own timeline

You will not be able to use the audience selector unless you are posting on your own timeline. If you post to another person’s timeline, the person whose timeline you are posting to controls what audience can view your post.

Here’s an overview of who can see what’s on your timeline and tools you can use to control what you share.

Overview

  • You choose who can see basic information like your hometown or birthday when you edit your timeline. Click Update Info (under your cover photo) and then click the Edit button next to the box you want to edit. Use theaudience selector next to each piece of information to choose who can see that info.
  • Anyone can see your public information, which includes your name, profile picture, gender, username, user ID (account number), and networks (learn why).
  • Only you and your friends can post to your timeline. When you post something, you can control who sees it by using the audience selector. When friends post, whether people can see it depends on your timeline privacy setting selection.

Tools

  • As you edit your info, you can control who sees what by using the audience selector.
  • Before photos, posts and app activities that you’re tagged in appear on your timeline, you can approve or reject them by turning on Timeline Review.
  • To choose who can see your tagged photos, posts and app activities after they appear on your timeline, use the Timeline Visibility privacy setting.
To see exactly what your timeline looks like to other people, use the View As tool.
By default, your privacy settings allow everyone to find you with search and friend finder using the contact info you have provided, such as your email address and phone number. But when people click on your name in a search result, they won’t be able to see all of the information in your timeline. They’ll always be able to view your name, gender, profile picture, username, user id (account number) and networks (learn why). Your privacy settings determine whether people can view additional information when they click on your name in a search result.

If you’d like to modify who can look you up using your email address or phone number:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings
  2. Next to the How You Connect heading, click Edit Settings
  3. Select your preference from the dropdown menu next to Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided?

This setting doesn’t control who can message you on Facebook. To do that:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings
  2. Next to the How You Connect heading, click Edit Settings
  3. Select your preference from the dropdown menu next to Who can send you Facebook messages?
By default, anyone on Facebook can send you a friend request. If you’d like to modify who can send you friend requests:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings
  2. Next to the How You Connect heading, click Edit Settings
  3. Select your preference from the drop-down menu next to Who can send you friend requests?
You control who can see you on chat, who can message you on Facebook, and who can send you email.

Who sees you on chat
By default, all your friends can see you on chat. If you only want to chat with a few select friends, simply:

  1. Click the  icon at the bottom of the chat sidebar and select Advanced Settings…
  2. Choose friends (or lists of friends) you want to be available to on chat

You can also go offline to someone while you’re chatting with them. At the top of your chat window, click the  icon and select Go Offline to X. Learn more aboutadvanced chat settings.

Who can send you Facebook messages and email
By default, anyone on Facebook can send you a message, and anyone outside of Facebook can email you at your “username@facebook.com.” Messages and email all go to your Facebook Messages.

To edit who can message you, simply:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings.
  2. Next to the How You Connect heading, click Edit Settings.
  3. Select your preference from the dropdown menu next to Who can send you Facebook messages?

Note: Changes to the “Who can message me” privacy setting may take up to 24 hours to take effect.

We used to have a setting that controlled who can look up your timeline using your name. We removed that setting because your timeline could be discovered in other ways in connection with your name. For example, if you selected Friends orFriends of Friends for this setting, it only prevented your timeline from showing up in search results. It didn’t prevent a link to your timeline from showing up in search connected to other posts, like posts you’re tagged in. It also didn’t prevent your timeline from being discovered through other search terms like employment, college, location, etc. Additionally, anyone who knew your unique timeline address (with either your User ID or username), could find your timeline.

Many people used this control to prevent unwanted friend requests or messages. To control who can send you a friend request or a Facebook message:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings
  2. Next to the How You Connect heading, click Edit Settings
  3. Select your preference from the dropdown menu next to Who can send you friend requests? or Who can send you Facebook messages?
  • The visibility of posts you make on your own timeline depends on the audience you choose for each post using the audience selector. For example, a friend will see posts you’ve set to Friends and Public, while a non-friend will only see posts you’ve set to Public.
  • The visibility of posts others make on your timeline depends on the setting you’ve chosen for who can see posts by others.
Manage How Tags Work
To choose who can see your tagged posts and photos after they appear on your timeline, use the Timeline and Tagging privacy setting.

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings.
  2. Under the Timeline and Tagging section, choose Edit Settings.
  3. Click to edit the Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in on your timeline? setting.
  4. Choose an audience from the dropdown menu. The audience you choose will be able to see posts you’re tagged in on your timeline.

Before they appear on your timeline, you can approve or reject posts and photos that you’re tagged in by turning on Timeline Review.

If you’d like to review posts and photos you’re tagged in before they go on your timeline, turn on Timeline Review:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings
  2. Find the Timeline and Tagging section and choose Edit Settings
  3. Click Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline
  4. Click on the dropdown at the top-right and select Enabled

If you have Timeline Review off, then tags from friends are automatically approved. Note that any tags from non-friends require your approval before they go on your timeline, whether you have Timeline Review on or not.

If you’d like to review tags that friends add to things you share before they get added, turn on Tag Review.

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings.
  2. Under the Timeline and Tagging section, choose Edit Settings.
  3. Click Review tags friends add to your own posts on Facebook.
  4. Click on the current status icon of Tag Review in the upper-right corner of the pop-up.
  5. Select Enabled.

When Tag Review is on, you’ll get a notification every time you have a post to review. You can approve or ignore the tag request by going to the content itself.

Note that you’ll be asked to review tags that non-friends add to your posts.

Remember: When you approve a tag, the person tagged and their friends can see your post. If you don’t want your post to be visible to the friends of the person tagged, you can adjust this setting. Simply click on the audience selector next to the story, select Custom, and uncheck the Friends of those tagged box.

If you don’t want Facebook to suggest that friends tag you when photos look like you, you can turn off this feature:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings.
  2. Find the Timeline and Tagging section and choose Edit Settings.
  3. Click Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?
  4. Click on dropdown in the lower-right corner of the pop-up and choose your audience.

When you turn off tag suggestions, Facebook won’t suggest that friends tag you when photos look like you. The template that we created to enable the tag suggestions feature will also be deleted. Note that friends will still be able to tag photos of you manually.

Before you opt out of using this feature, we encourage you to consider how tag suggestions benefit you and your friends. Our tagging tools (including grouping photos that look similar and suggesting friends who might be in them) are meant to make it easier for you to share your memories and experiences with your friends.

Timeline Review is a privacy option that lets you approve or reject posts that you’ve been tagged in before they go on your timeline. When you turn it on, posts may already be visible in other places on Facebook, but they won’t appear on your timeline until you approve them. When you have a post to review, it will show up in the Pending Posts section of your profile or in your activity log (if you you’ve upgraded to timeline).

To always review pending posts from anyone, including your friends:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings.
  2. Under the Timeline and Tagging section, choose Edit Settings.
  3. Click Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline.
  4. Click on the current status icon of Timeline Review in the upper-right corner of the pop-up.
  5. Select Enabled.

Note: Even when Timeline Review is off, posts from non-friends require your approval before they appear on your timeline.

Tag Review is a privacy option that lets you approve or reject tags that friends add to your posts. When you turn it on, then anytime a friend wants to add a tag to a photo or post you make, that tag won’t appear until you approve it.

To turn on Tag Review:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings.
  2. Under the Timeline and Tagging section, choose Edit Settings.
  3. Click Review tags friends add to your own posts on Facebook.
  4. Click on the current status icon of Tag Review in the upper-right corner of the pop-up.
  5. Select Enabled.

When Tag Review is on, you’ll get a notification every time you have a post to review. You can approve or ignore the tag request by going to the content itself.

When Tag Review is off, you can skip reviewing tags friends add to your content before they appear on Facebook. When someone who you’re not friends with adds a tag to one of your posts you’ll always be asked to review it.

Remember: When you approve a tag, the person tagged and their friends can see your post.

Timeline Review lets you approve or reject posts that people tag you in before they go on your timeline. Tag Review lets you approve or reject tags that people add to your posts.
Other Settings
On Facebook, your name, profile picture, gender, username, user ID (account number) and networks are visible to everyone (learn why). Also, by default, apps have access to your friends list and any information you choose to share with everyone.

To manage your settings for each app you’ve authorized:

  1. Click the  at the top right corner of Facebook and click Account Settings.
  2. From the menu in the left column, select Apps.
  3. Select the app you want by clicking on the app’s name or the edit link
  4. Choose an audience with the audience selector from the App activity privacy section. That app can only publish stories to people within the audience you choose.

Note: This only controls who sees the app activity that is shared on Facebook. For what people see off Facebook, check the settings in the app itself and their policies.

To manage your general settings for apps and websites:

  1. Click the  at the top left corner of Facebook and pick Privacy Settings.
  2. Under the Apps and Websites heading, click Edit settings. From here, you can turn off all platform apps, control what information is open to your friends through apps and websites they use, and more.
If you’re concerned about who can see your past posts, there’s a privacy tool to limit the audience for anything you’ve shared with more than your friends (ex: public posts).

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings
  2. Scroll down the page to find Limit the Audience for Past Posts
  3. Click on Manage Past Post Visibility

Some important notes about this tool:

  • You can’t undo this action
  • This may result in people losing access to things that they previously commented on
  • People who are tagged in your posts and their friends may still be able to see these posts
  • This tool doesn’t make any posts with a more private or custom setting open to Friends
  • You still have the option to change the audience of each of your posts
To block someone:

  1. Click the account menu  at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Privacy Settings.
  2. Scroll to the Blocked People and Apps section and click Manage Blocking.
  3. Enter the name or email address of the person you want to block and clickBlock. People will not be notified when you block them.

If you can’t find someone using this method, try going to the person’s profile (timeline) and selecting Report/Block This Person from the  dropdown.

If you still can’t block someone using the methods described above, it’s possible that this person left Facebook or restricted their privacy settings. You can still prevent them from viewing your profile (timeline) by adjusting your privacy 

 

 

 

 

 

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