1. Be familiar with your Settings on Facebook
Many of us have never even accessed the Settings menu in our Facebook account before. This is an important feature to control many aspects of your privacy on Facebook, so be sure to access it and familiarise yourself with the functions. We will show you some important ones you need to know.
The first step to protecting your privacy is by setting who can see your posts on Facebook. This is important especially if you post or share posts often on Facebook, as others can track your interests, your like and dislikes, your political and religious affiliation and even the places you’ve been to.
To control who can see your posts, click Settings on the top right hand corner of your profile, under a little triangle.
2. Who can see your future posts?
Next, click Privacy, and you will see Who can see your future posts? Here, you can set it to public, private or Friends only. You can even customise if you want only certain Friends (especially if your list of Friends consists of many acquaintances) to be able to view your posts.
We suggest to set this to limit to just Friends, but ultimately you should decide what you are most comfortable with. Also, note that this setting can be changed anytime should you decide to change it in the future.
3. Control who can post to your timeline and who tags you
This has happened to most of us before, being tagged in a photo you are not comfortable or happy with, or having pictures of you at an event or situation which you feel is a private affair and do not wish to share with everyone.
The way around this is to control who can post on your timeline and whether your Friends can tag you on Facebook. In the same Settings page, click on Timeline and Tagging, and here you have many options of whether Friends can tag you, and who can see the tagged posts you are in. You can also choose to review photos or posts of you before they appear on your timeline.
4. Stop your data from being shared by entities outside Facebook
The best way to stop this is to disable other entities from accessing your data. Under the same Settings menu, click Apps and Websites – here, you can control the access from external apps and websites, and you can disable it. Do note however, that you will be unable to play games on Facebook and you will be unable to log in via Facebook when using certain apps like Spotify and Pinterest. But this is a trade off you have to decide for yourself.
5. Protect your profile's information about you
Make sure to update the information About you. At your profile’s Home page, click About and if you hover your mouse over the information here, you will be able to edit it. You’ll be surprised by how much of your private information is made public here if you’ve never gone into this function before, so be sure to look through each carefully and decide what should be shown and what should be made private.
Among the information here could be sensitive info such as your phone number, your email address, your hometown, your birth date, and even your religious and political affiliation.
6. Tell Facebook you do not wish to receive any targeted ads
Back on the Settings page, click on Ads. Under Ad Settings, you will see a few options for Facebook to allow ads to appear on your timeline feed based on your usage. Decide whether you wish to see or not to see these ads.
The reason this exists is because Facebook profiles you according to your social media usage based on what apps you use and what websites you visit, and automates the ad stream based on your interests. If you feel this is spam clogging up your timeline, choose to disable by changing to “No” in these settings.
7. Check what info Facebook has on you
You can also see what Facebook knows about you and what data they have access to. Under the same Ads page, go to Your Information. Under the tab About you, you might be surprised to find the amount of information that Facebook has of you here and what permission you’ve given them to serve you ads based on your data. This includes your Relationship status, Employer, Job title and Education status.
And if you click on the Your categories tab, you’ll see other information on your tech usage, like whether you access mobile or other devices and whether you are a technology early adopter. If you do not wish to be associated with any categories, click the “X” to remove them.