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Phoenix Forward

How to set up your Facebook privacy settings


Although Facebook® is a great communication tool, you may be concerned about privacy. After all, you don't want to broadcast every aspect of your life to anyone who has access to Facebook. The ability for random people to contact you, friends to tag you in pictures or at places, and apps to utilize your Facebook data concerns many users. Below, you'll find a step-by-step guide that can help you take control of your privacy so you can stop spam, ensure your posts are viewable by the right people and select what your friends can post on your timeline.

To get started, access your Facebook privacy settings.

Log on to Facebook.

  • Click the downward-pointing arrow in the upper right of the blue navigation bar.
  • Select Privacy Settings.
Facebook privacy settings.

Filter who can contact you.

Getting friend requests and solicitous messages from people you don't know, otherwise known as social spam, may be one of the biggest annoyances of being a Facebook user. “You don’t want people who are more than two degrees outside your network to message you without sending a friend request,” explains Chris Crowe, a social media manager for University of Phoenix.

  • By the How You Connect heading, click Edit Settings.
  • Change the button by the Friends requests and Facebook messages sections to Friends of Friends.
  • Click Done.
Filter who can contact you.

Be in control of what you're tagged in.

In your privacy settings, you can also review content that friends tag you in before it reaches your timeline and ends up in your friends' feeds. And by turning off friend check-ins, you can make sure that your friends aren't notified whenever a friend tags you with them at a specific location.

  • By the How Tags Work heading, click Edit Settings.
  • Select the Timeline Review if available (Facebook is rolling out the feature gradually) and Tag Review sections, and make sure each is "enabled."
  • Click the Back button.
  • Change Friends Can Check You Into Places to "Off" and "Disabled."
  • Click Okay.
  • Click Done.
Be in control of what you're tagged in.

Rid yourself of unused apps.  

By default, apps have access to your list of friends and public information, such as public status updates and details in the About section of your profile.  Whenever you notice you haven’t used an app in a while, be sure to remove it so the application doesn’t have access to your data. “After all, you can always add it back if you decide to use it again,” Crowe adds.

  • By the Apps and Websites heading, click Edit Settings.
  • Next to the Apps you use heading, select the Edit Settings button.
  • Click the X to remove the apps that you haven’t used in more than 6 months.
  • Confirm that you want to remove the app.
  • Click Done.
Rid yourself of unused apps.

What are some of your other Facebook privacy concerns? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter® or in the comments below.

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