Although there is a constant rise in the number of popular social media websites, Facebook has kept its position as a favorite since its inception in the year 2006. By the end of 2019, there were reportedly 2.5 billion active users and the user base is still expanding. But as the platform is growing, privacy issues are also growing.
Facebook has suffered a lot of security breaches, which also includes 2018’s unpopular Cambridge Analytica Scandal. There was a data breach of at least 87 million users. The data was collected and mined without their consent.
It is a fact that Facebook is not the only site with security flaws. Any online platform that has consumer info can be breached. Although the cyber landscape is full of scams, phishing attempts, identity theft, and cyberbullying, that doesn’t mean you should stop using technology. It just means you need some digital literacy for safety. That’s why it’s important to have strong privacy settings including on Facebook, Instagram, and anywhere else. There are many steps that you can take to increase privacy.
1. Control who can see what’s posted on your timeline
In special circumstances, you may be happy to share your content with people you may know or complete strangers. But for the most part, you will want to limit who can see you on Facebook.
There is an option on Facebook that allows you to select exactly who can see your posts. This can be found in Privacy Checkup and Privacy Shortcut sections.
In this post, we will talk about the regular privacy settings options. If you want to limit who can see what you post in the future, you should start by clicking the arrow on the top right corner of the toolbar. Then select Settings and Privacy>Settings>Privacy.
The first option under Your Activity is Who can see your future posts? Click on Edit
You have to now select from:
- Specific friends
- Only me
Pick an option that suits you best and that will be applied to all future posts.
2. Control the audience of what has been posted previously on your timeline
Although you have a limited who can see your future posts on Facebook, you may also add a level of security to see what has gone before.
As before, go to Settings and Privacy>Settings>Privacy. Under Your Activity, find the option of Limit the Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline and click on Limit Past Posts.
Once you see a popup explaining the action, you will have to click on Limit Part Posts again to confirm.
3. Control the visibility of your ‘About’ section
Is there anything on your About section that you don’t want to share publicly? If so, you need to take the right course of action.
From your profile page, follow these steps Edit profile>Customize Your Intro>Edit.
If you don’t want to share some item on your profile, toggle it off.
What may be better would be to remove the information fully. You should click the pen icon next to information you want to delete. After that, please select the three dots icons and select Delete [Item Name].
So, that’s it. Most of your details are private, though you should be aware that some details like your name and cover pic cannot be given limited visibility in any way.
4. Place a limit to who can contact you through Facebook
Although this is going to be a big step with a big impact but limiting who can see your timeline won’t stop all those unknown and queer friend requests and other messages from unknown people.
To make sure that random people can’t get to you on Facebook, you will have to change the setting that allows anyone to make contact.
To do that, go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Privacy and find the section titled How People Find and Contact You. There are many options here. The first one is Who can send you friend requests?
Select Edit next to this and a new drop-down menu will appear. You can change that from Everyone to Friends of friends.
5. Control who can search you on Facebook
You may also want to limit how people can find your FB profile with information they may already know about you.In the How People Find and Contact You section, you can choose whether you want people to be able to search you using your email address or ph number.
The choices are
- Everyone(most people will want to change this)
- Friends of friends
- Only me
In this area, you can also turn on the settings for whether your Facebook profile be found with a search engine query. Depending on your Facebook account(for eg, personal or business), you may or may not wish to change this setting by checking or unchecking the tick box.
6. Decide who can post on your profile
If you want to prevent others from posting on your timeline. You should go to Settings & Privacy>Settings>Profile and Tagging. Under the Viewing and Sharing section, click Edit next to Who can post on your profile? Now you have to decide if you want to allow friends or or only you to post on your profile.
7. Have you logged in correctly?
After taking care of the Facebook privacy settings, your focus should be on the security aspects of the social media giants. If you have accidentally logged into your Facebook account on a device that can be used by your family or lost a device, then you’ll want to review which devices are logged in and do something about it! Go to Security and Login page and search for the Where You’re Logged In section. It may already be displaying one or two devices. Now click on See More to get a full list of devices that are logged in.
Although you won’t be able to log out of sessions you are currently using, but you can logout from one or more devices. You can either select Log Out of All Sessions or you can click on column of three dots next to specific entry to logout of a session.
If by any chance, you don’t recognize the devices listed here, you can notify Facebook that the device is not yours and Facebook will guide you through steps to secure your account.
8. Changing the password
Although there is no need of changing the password regularly, sometimes it becomes necessary to change yours. This may be due to security reasons or you may have come up with much longer and complex alternative. You can do so by going to Security and Login. Under Login, you can click on Edit and then Change password.
If you’re not already using a password manager, you will need to re-enter your existing password followed by new one. Re-type new password and click Save Changes.
9. Turning the 2-factor authentication on
Your password is not an ultimate way of securing your account. The truth is , most people still use very weak credential. So, a great alternative is 2 factor authentication(2FA) and you should enable it on your Facebook account.
You can do so, by doing the following steps: –
Security and Login>Two-Factor Authentication>Next to Use 2 factor authentication, click Edit.
Here you have option of either using text messages or authentication app. Within 2FA section, you can choose to exclude certain devices like your home desktop to have 2 factor authentication.
10. Setup unrecognized login notifications
An important item that you will want to address would be unrecognized login. On the home page, click on the top right corner of the toolbar. Now select Settings and Privacy. Go to Settings>Security and Login.
Under Setting Up Extra Security, go to Get alerts about unrecognized logins. Click on Edit and you will get the option of receiving a notification whenever an unknown computer or other device tries to get your Facebook/Messenger account. You can make use of default email on Facebook or add another email address.
You also have the option to add 3-5 trusted contacts who can help you if you get locked out. For logging you back in, Facebook will send them a code and URL.
The list above in this article is not comprehensive but it covers essential points. Facebook keeps on changing its way of operation to protect its users. We will update you with more such features in our future blogs, we hope you liked our blog which is on the Top 10 ways to increase your privacy on Facebook