How to make your Facebook account more private

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Facebook has a shaky reputation when it comes to privacy, but it’s a useful tool for staying in touch with friends and family. If you are going to use the social network, there are a few things you can do to lock things out as much as possible.

Consider what (and how) you share

Facebook can function as a public social network where everything is visible to everyone, and a private friends-only space where you limit your posts and information to only the people you choose to connect with. You can even mix and match these styles, depending on what you’re posting.

The easiest way to do this is with Facebook Built-in audience selector. When you decide to create a new post, you can click or tap the dropdown box under your name and choose between Friends, Public, or Restrict specific users. You can even limit it to ‘Only me’ which is perfect for hiding old posts without having to delete them completely.

Change audience in Facebook composer

Doing so allows you to hide certain posts from specific contacts, or even share posts with only a select few. Head over to Facebook’s privacy settings under Settings > Privacy To choose a default setting for this box, which will save you from accidentally posting something generic in the future.

The best way to not compromise your privacy is to not post something you might regret later, regardless of the audience. You can also retroactively Limit the audience for your old Facebook posts which you have already made.

Review your friends list

You know how to limit posts to only your friends, but how well do you know your friends? Facebook contacts can come from anywhere, whether it’s close friends you know in real life, distant relatives you’ve met multiple times, or online contacts you’ve never seen.

It’s a good idea to comb through your Facebook friends list from time to time to make sure you’re comfortable with your audience. Could you Put people on your blocked list Using the “Friends” icon in the profile, selecting “Edit Friends List” and selecting “Restricted” (or any other list you want).

Edit Facebook friends list

Only a friend on your restricted list can see your public profile information as well as any posts you’ve flagged. This can be a good way to keep people at arm’s length without having to remove them from your friend list, and to avoid potentially embarrassing interactions in the real world.

You don’t have to use your “real” name.

Using your real name on Facebook might seem like a good idea, assuming you want to be found and known. Facebook’s infamous real name policy has generated controversy and caused problems in the past, which has led the social network to moderate its approach somewhat (on paper at least).

FB name policy It states that “the name on your profile must be the name that your friends call you in everyday life” and that “it must also appear on an ID form or document from our ID list.” In addition to the usual forms of identification such as a passport or driver’s license, Facebook also accepts library cards, store loyalty cards, and job verifications on its site. List of approved identifiers.

According to Facebook, “Nicknames can be used as a first or middle name if they are a variation of your original name.” This should give plenty of wiggle room to get creative Naming your account. Provided that your nickname is a nickname for your real name, you must be clear if you are drawn to it.

Think for a moment how many of your Facebook friends don’t use their real names. How many people use completely fictional characters? How many people stretched the nickname base roughly to the breaking point? From the outside looking inside, this rule doesn’t seem to be the one Facebook cares deeply about security.

Run a privacy check

Facebook has a handy Privacy Checker It walks you through some of the more common privacy settings you may want to change. This includes your password, how people can find you, and how to manage your data. From time to time, new settings may be added or you may change your mind about some policies, so it is recommended that you check back semi-regularly to update these settings.

As we explained some You may want to change your Facebook privacy settings Which can have an immediate effect on locking your profile. You can also search by network Facebook settings To update individual preferences, including more vague preferences like who can comment on your public posts, and whether you need to review tags before they appear on your profile.

Change the visibility of your Facebook profile information

Take a moment to comb through your profile to see what information you might want to hide. You can click the audience icon next to a piece of information (it will look like a globe if it’s public, for example) and choose an audience you feel more comfortable with. Check each section, then use the “View as” button near your name to see your profile from another point of view.

Don’t forget the ads

Facebook ads are notorious for intrusion. The social network learns everything it can about you and then tries to show you which ads you are most likely to click on. This advertising is integral to using the Facebook Service, although you can choose to see fewer advertisements on certain topics, including alcohol, raising children, pets, and social or political topics within ad themes In Settings > Advertising Preferences.

Manage ad topics on Facebook

Another thing you can control is How Facebook uses cookies for tracking To target you with more relevant ads. Under “Data about your activity from partners” you can turn off Facebook and Instagram. This prevents the social network from using data from websites, ads, and offline interactions to serve ads to you. It won’t result in fewer ads, but from a privacy standpoint, it’s less invasive.

You can make ads less intrusive by disabling “categories used to reach you” including employer, job title, education, and relationship status. There is also a fun “categories of interest” list. Things Facebook thinks you’re interested in. You can delete anything you want from this section, but keep in mind that you are “training” the advertising algorithm by doing this.

Related: How to see what data Facebook has about you

Lock or deactivate your profile

Facebook announce Profile lock feature that effectively limits everything to friends until you deactivate the setting. This includes all of your posts, profile picture, and Facebook Stories. The setup is not available worldwide at the time of writing, but you can Enable lock when available on your account From your profile page.

If you’d rather take a break from Facebook and put a pin in your account, you can Deactivate your profile under Your Facebook information section of your Facebook settings. This is a temporary decision to remove your name and content via Facebook, although only you will be affected by Facebook Messenger Deactivate Messenger separately.

Deactivate your Facebook account

After disabling, your account will remain inactive until you sign in again.

Related: How to deactivate your Facebook account

Finally: Disable Active Status on Messenger

By default, Facebook announces your presence to your friends whenever you are online. This can be on mobile or desktop, and it shows a green dot next to your name as well as how long you’ve been active in the service. If you prefer to use the service more privately and fly under the radar, you can turn this off.

Could you Hide your active status On the desktop by clicking the ellipsis icon “…” above the “Contacts” section of your News Feed that shows who’s online or available now. Click “Active Status” to turn the feature off. You’ll also need to do this on the mobile app by tapping on your profile picture and then “Active Status” and disabling the “Show when you’re active” setting.

Change your Facebook Messenger status visibility

Know that when you do this you won’t see your friends’ active statuses either. Be aware that you can Send disappearing messages with Messenger and that You do not need an active Facebook profile to communicate with users.

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