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!