Facebook Privacy Check-up

Blog Author WSECU

Written by: WSECU

Published: April 12, 2018

Facebook has been in the news a lot with regard to privacy. Below are a number of actions you can take now to adjust your Facebook settings to manage your privacy.

Get an overview of your settings

Facebook's privacy settings in many areas across the site. However, you can do a quick health check by tapping the padlock to the right of the Home screen and selecting Run Privacy Check Up. This will allow you see privacy settings at a glance over three key areas of Facebook  

  • Posts - As shown below, this will explain how to control your privacy settings for every post.
  • Apps - Who sees your activity within third-party apps.
  • Profile - Here you can limit what personal information (work, age, contact details) is visible to who.

Control posts

This is perhaps the key privacy concern of Facebook users. Whenever you upload a photo, fill in a status, or check in at a location there is the opportunity to customize sharing. You can also adjust this by clicking the padlock and selecting Who can see my stuff?

The three main options are:
  • Friends - Only people you're friends with can see the post.
  • Public - Anyone can see it whether they're friends or not.
  • Only You - Only you can see this post.

Screenshot of Facebook Privacy Settings

Control app activity

You may have many services associated with Facebook, whether they're news services, fitness apps, games, other social networks, streaming services or photo-sharing apps. Many become associated with your Facebook account after installation on your smartphone, others by using Facebook Connect to create accounts. You can use the Privacy Check Up or go to Settings > Apps and adjust who can see your activity or whether you want to remove them completely by clicking the X.

FB Settings Screenshot

Control personal information

Over the years, Facebook has collected mountains of personal information. Your email address, your birthday, phone number, where you've studied, your sexual orientation, your political views, where you're from, where you're worked, who you're married to and who you're related to.

Much of this can be controlled via the Privacy Check Up mentioned above. You can alter who sees what by heading to the About section of your profile and selecting Edit under each section. To alter privacy settings from Friends to Only Me will hide the information from your profile. In many cases you may want to remove it completely by clicking the X.

FB Privacy Check-up Screenshot

Check your Public profile

As all profiles are now searchable within Facebook, you may want to check how your profile looks to someone who stumbled upon it. To do this go to Settings > Followers and tap "Want to know what followers can see? View your public Timeline." Here you can see how it looks to the Public. If you spot information or posts you do not want to be public, Edit the privacy settings of individual posts or go to Settings to censor it from the public.  

Protect your location

Facebook captures the location data to attract advertisers. However, you may want to protect your location. The obvious step is avoid clicking the location pin when posting. However, when you're using the mobile app, Facebook may try to use GPS and Wi-Fi to name your location. You can prevent this from happening by entering the Location settings on your mobile device and denying Facebook access.  

In iOS: Settings > Privacy > Location > Facebook > Never

Manage other apps and services

For additional information on how to protect your privacy across many of the apps and services that your use daily visit StaySafeOnline. Here you can adjust learn more about how to review and change your privacy settings for the majority of popular email communications, social media, e-Commerce, music, search engines and more.