Thursday, April 26, 2012

Privacy Settings on Facebook

I'm giving a presentation at this Sunday's SCBWI Queensland meeting on how to edit and customise privacy settings on Facebook. Some of the author and illustrator members have expressed concerns about using Facebook because they believe there is no way to protect their privacy.

While everything you put on the internet is in the public domain, Facebook has taken the time to install privacy measures to ensure you can choose just who exactly gets to see that photo of you on Christmas morning in your PJ's that was posted by your 'have a laugh' relative.

So for those of you who are unable to attend here below are the notes:

Privacy Settings on Facebook by Angela Sunde

Editing your Privacy Settings

At the top right in the blue header of your Facebook page click on ‘Account’.

From the drop down list click on ‘Privacy Settings’.

The first one to appear at the top of a new page is

‘Connecting on Facebook’.

(This is how you choose to connect with others and how you wish to be connected/befriended/viewed.)

Click on ‘View settings’. (This is in blue).

Have a look through these and for each one (in the drop down menu - padlock and arrow pics) choose from:

Friends Only,
Friends of Friends.

Not all have customise as a choice.

For example ‘See your friends list’ does. Click on the drop down menu and see.

Using the Customise feature

Click on ‘customise’.

A small window will appear called ‘Custom Privacy’. This allows you to customise this particular aspect of Facebook. Eg Who can see your friends list.

You can then choose from:

Make this visible to (green tick) or Hide this from (red cross).

Under Make this visible to you can choose from:

Friends of Friends
Friends Only
Only Me
Specific People.

With ‘Specific People’ you can specify exactly who you give permission to ‘see your friends list’.


You could choose the Hide this from.

In which case you put in the name of the person/people you don’t wish to 'see your friends list'.

Note: If you have your friends organised in groups, then you may also write the name of the group for either Specific People or Hide this from. (It’s faster). For example I have a group called ‘Publishers’ and I hide certain photo albums from them!!

Now, don’t forget to ‘Save setting’.

The small window will close and you are back on the ‘Connecting on Facebook’ page.

Scroll to the top and click on ‘Back to Privacy’.

You have successfully edited your ‘Connecting on Facebook’ privacy.

Now you need to decide on what privacy settings you wish to choose for Sharing on Facebook’.

How to privatise what you share on Facebook

‘Sharing on Facebook’ controls who can see what you share. Eg photos.

Again you can choose by clicking on the grey list on the left:

Friends only
Friends of friends

I have chosen ‘Custom’, which is short for customise.

Now click on the blue words below (with the little edit pencil icon) ‘Customise settings’.

Just as before, here you are able to choose exactly who may see your shared information.


‘Friends can check me in to Places’. Make sure you edit and disable this one. It shows all of Facebook where you are in the world at any given time if your friends tag you in a post.

Also, customise 'Places you check in to' as this shows everyone on FB where you are if you have a smart phone. Not so smart, eh? I have this one customised to ‘Only me’.

You might also want to edit Photos and videos you're tagged in. Especially if you’ve had friends take unflattering photos of you at that last conference!

Work your way down the page, customising each privacy setting for whom you share each Facebook experience with.

How to privatise photos

On this same page (‘Choose your privacy settings –customise settings’) you will notice a small blue link (at the bottom of the 'Things I share’ list), which says

'Edit privacy settings for existing photos albums and videos'.

Click on this.

‘Control who sees each of your photo albums and videos’ will appear.

Now have fun choosing who may see your photo albums and who may not.

Remember, each time you customise a privacy setting, click on Save setting.

Good luck everyone!


Tina Burke said...

Hi Angela!
This is great info that everyone who is using or considering FB should be aware of. Knowledge is key to dispelling the fear and setting up our page so we feel empowered and comfortable with what we're sharing.

One thing I'm curious about is regarding tagged photos - I wonder if you have come across the answer to this?:
If my security settings are different to the person who owns the album (and tagged me) - which settings override the other?
e.g; If the owner has it open to "everyone", and I have "friends only", for example, what happens then?

Good luck with your presentation!

Angela Sunde. said...

Hi Tina,
Thanks for popping in to my blog.In answer to your question, if you have disabled your settings for 'tagged photos', they won't appear on your page, but will still appear on the private page of whoever posted them. You could visit their page and the photo and then 'untag' yourself. (I have done this). But you can't remove the photo from their page or override their privacy settings.
You could perhaps ask them to remove the photo, if you know them or teach them how to modify their privacy settings to 'friends only' like yours.
My presentation went really well. We were in the beautiful Brisbane Square library in the CBD.
Have a great week!

J.R.Poulter/J.R.McRae said...

Thanks for posting this Angela - have let friends know who couldn't be at the meeting!

Angela Sunde. said...

Thanks for that, Jenny. I'm hoping to share this with as many people as possible.

DimbutNice said...

Hi Angela, Thanks for savvy advice. Have followed directions whilst attempting to navigate FB for the first time myself. Still feel a bit green and raw but your clear advice helps volumes.

Angela Sunde. said...

You're welcome, Dimity. If things aren't kept clear, I never understand them myself.

DimbutNice said...

So true. As you appear to have the handle on it Angela may I just confirm something at the risk of sounding lame (may help other newbies like myself), but when one is 'chatting' on FB live, should one presume that that chat is one on one and exclusive ie; no one else is able to view that conversation? Curious Dimity

simon said...

Hi - I wonder if you could give me any tips regarding who see my photo's . . I've set one of my albums to everyone the rest to friends only but when I check to see if the everyone album is available to everyone it's not there it dosn't show up ie if I some one finds me who is not a friend they have tha basic info but not the album which has been set to everyone . . ? would be very grateful for your help.

Thanks. Simon,

Angela Sunde. said...

Dimity, I believe the live chat on Facebook is one on one and private. I have never managed to have a conversation with more than one person at a time. However, I'll ask my daughter and get back to you as she uses it more.
I have been avoiding live chat ever since a Facebook 'friend' made a pass at me on chat. He was 'de-friended' quickly. :)

Angela Sunde. said...

Hi Simon!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm not sure I can answer your questions accurately. But here is what I think...
All your albums are hidden from Facebook users who are not your friends when they casually look you up.
I believe 'Everyone' refers to all the people connected to your friends and beyond (friends of friends of friends). So, if a friend of yours comments on one of your photos (it may appear on their home page) and it is available to 'everyone', then all of their contacts etc will be able to view your photo and then browse through your whole album. If your album is set to a private setting, then they won't be able to.

Each album and photo also has a link at the bottom of the page which you can send to anyone you wish to even if they don't have Facebook. This link is invisible to others who are viewing your albums.

I think it's best to set as many albums as possible to a private setting of your choice unless the photos are for a business promotion and you wish to publicise this.

We have to keep in mind that nothing is absolutely private on Facebook. The administrators, police and hackers can probably see whatever they want. So pick and choose carefully what you put up there.

I hope this has helped. I'm not really an expert.