Facebook privacy settings fall into a few different categories. Your profile settings control who sees your wall, your personal information, your contact information and your photos. Your search settings control what people see when they search for you and how you allow people to search for you. Additionally, you can protect your news feed and wall posts. In other words, you can determine what you want showing up in other people’s news feeds and wall postings. Last but not least, you can decide what information you allow third party applications on Facebook to access. The following are ten must have privacy settings:
1. Where access to, and visibility of, your profile are concerned, under “Who can see your profile”, set it to “Only friends”.
2. Under “Basic Information”, choose “Only friends” from the drop down menu. This means other people can’t see your details such as birthday, marriage status, political leaning and religious affiliation.
3. Where getting in touch with you is concerned, Under “Who can see your personal contact information”, again, it is best to set it to “Only friends”. When you create a Facebook profile you put in contact information including IM Screen names, your mobile and phone numbers, your address, a website, if you have one, and your e-mail address. You also input your likes and dislikes. This can be potentially dangerous, especially if you have your settings so everyone can see them, as the information can be used against you and your account is easier to hack.
4. Who is allowed to find you through a search of Facebook? Set your visibility to your “My networks and friends of friends”, in order to restrict who may search for you on Facebook. This allows the people who likely know you to be able to find you, while keeping the general public from searching from you as you will be ‘invisible’ to “everyone”.
5. If someone finds you in a search, “What people see when they search for you” is an important setting. You can make your photo and friends list invisible as well as links for messaging you and adding you as a friend and what pages you’re a fan of. It is best to make your photo and a link to add as friend visible so no additional information is provided.
6. Check “No” to indicate that you do not want to be found in search results available outside of Facebook on public search listings.
News Feed and Wall
7. Uncheck boxes in the news feed and wall section so that private messages posted on your friends’ walls do not show up in other people’s news feeds. Regarding news feeds and wall messages, what do you want to show up? Check the boxes that correspond to your answers.
8. Do you want people to be able to track what you are doing while on Facebook? If you don’t then uncheck boxes so that they do not see whose walls you post to, what photos you comment on or anything else you’re doing.
9. Third party Facebook ads. Do you want third party applications and ads to use your name, or show your information to your friends in order to advertise? If not, then click the “No One” option.
10. Adjust your privacy settings so that information given to third party applications is limited. Third party applications will only see what is listed in public search listing, meaning your name, networks, profile picture and friends list.