Facebook’s Unsung Privacy Settings

Privacy Settings and Tools Provide Secure Social Media Experience

Facebook has gone from a social media hub to a world-renowned community. It’s a place to post day-to-day activities, connect with old friends and comment on photos and videos shared between one another. Whether you use Facebook to watch your granddaughter grow up through picture and video posts, discuss politics through status updates and articles or scroll through the news feed to find out more about the latest scandal, all of us have one thing in common: our personal information resides in Facebook’s servers.

Facebook usage has skyrocketed in the past four years. In 2008, there were an estimated 100 million monthly users on this social media website compared to 968 million monthly users in Q2 of 2015. Information like your name, email address, home address and sometimes even phone numbers can be shared. But, Facebook has given its users the ability to change and modify their privacy settings and control who can and cannot access their information. Here are a few privacy settings that users may not be aware of. Utilizing these tools can help to protect your personal information:

  1. Privacy shortcuts: Users can quickly toggle between options such as “who can see my stuff,” “who can contact me,” and “how do I stop someone from bothering me?” (see Fig. 1)
    Fig. 1: Privacy settings shortcut

    Fig. 1: Privacy settings shortcut, which can be found at the top-right of the Facebook navigation bar.

  2. Activity log: This tool gives you an overview of your Facebook activity. Utilizing this can help you determine which privacy settings you should use based on your activity. (See Fig. 2)
  3. Limit past posts: This setting allows you to change the privacy settings of any content you’ve previously shared. Note that the most private setting that you can change previous posts to is “Friends only.” If you want the content completely private, delete the post entirely. (see Fig. 2)
    Fig. 2: Activity log and limit past post tools found in Privacy Settings and Tools

    Fig. 2: Activity log and limit past posts tools, which can be found in the Privacy Settings and Tools page under “Who can see my stuff?”

  4. View as: After playing with your privacy settings, you can view your profile as one of your friends or as viewed by the public to see the different privacy settings in action. This is a great tool to double check that your settings were saved. (see Fig. 3)
Fig. 3: View as (a specific user or the public) tool

Fig. 3: View as (a specific user or the public) tool, which can be found in the Timeline and Tagging settings under “who can see things on my timeline?”

  *To view the full list of Facebook privacy tips and tricks compiled by Tom’s Guide author David Murphy, click here.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

John is Corporate Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands. He is a Certified Compliance...
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