Facebook is currently the most popular social networking website with over 250 million active users worldwide. Anyone who is 13 and over can sign up for a Facebook account and can add friends and share their most intimate information with their friends including pictures and personal information. While it can be fun and convenient to keep up with old friends and make new ones online, sharing too much personal information on these sites can be risky.
- Drunk pictures from that freshman frat party which your buddy tagged and now your coworkers and boss would be able to see.
- Status updates about your current relationship status or lack of
- Your phone number, contact information and more..
So how do you separate your “Facebook friends” but share stuff with your real friends?
Facebook gives its users options around privacy and security where you can configure privacy settings to restrict access to your Facebook profile information. So whether you are an established Facebook user or a new user getting your feet wet in the world of social networking, here are the top 10 privacy settings for Facebook you should follow to help protect your profile including photos and your personal information.
1. Create friends lists: This is probably the single most important and best privacy setting for Facebook. Once you log into your Facebook account, click on the “Friends” page at the top. Once in there, on the left side of the Friends page, you will see under Lists different groups including some created by default. Now, click on the Create button to create your Facebook friends lists.
- Resist the temptation to start assigning your friends to the lists. Think of all the different categories first and create them.
- I have 7 different lists: Close Buddies, Family, Friends, High School, College, Facebook Friends and Work. This is a ranked list with the group I trust the most coming first.
- There are two default lists created by Facebook: Limited Profile and SMS Subscriptions.
- Once your lists are created, click on Friends under the Lists section which displays your entire friends list. Use the drop box to start assigning your friends to the different lists.
- You can assign a friend to multiple lists. However, I would highly recommend that you assign just one list to a friend.
- Updated to add: The reason I recommend to only assign a friend to a single list is that the less restrictive settings apply. For example, if you have a friend that is part of your close friends list (my least restrictive) and also part of say Facebook friends list(my most restrictive), the less restrictive settings would apply (close friends settings) unless you explicitly exclude a list from accessing something, say photos to Facebook friends, then if you have a friend that is part of both lists, they won’t be able to view the photos. So, be careful when assigning friends to lists. – Thanks to Matt T for the question.
2. Customize your Facebook privacy settings:
Now, let us customize the privacy settings of your Facebook account. Hover over Settings and then click on Privacy Settings from the drop menu.