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The Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy Settings

by Suzanne Kantra on February 27, 2024

Updated on 2/27/2024. Removed privacy options for features no longer available, added new screenshots, and updated instructions on setting currently available privacy options.

Privacy issues and privacy controls on Facebook are ever-changing and confusing. I've read through hundreds of comments and emails from readers just like you who are frustrated and unsure about how to keep their information safe.

For example, when you post a picture of your kids at a family gathering, how can you control who has permission to share it? What private information are those Facebook game apps collecting, and who are these "third parties" they sell it to? How do you make sure that your live video stream is seen only by the people you choose?

Every action you take on Facebook has privacy and sharing implications you should understand before uploading that next selfie. Unfortunately, checking all of your Facebook settings takes a lot of time, and even then, the best choices for protecting your privacy aren't always obvious.

I just went through a complete review of every Facebook privacy setting currently available to determine what options we have for managing our privacy and what the best settings are for most people (and I'll continue to update this article as Facebook inevitably makes more changes). If you have a specific privacy concern, you can address it directly through your Facebook settings. Though for a broad check of all of your privacy settings, I recommend starting with Facebook's Privacy Checkup, which you can do through your computer browser.

Computer monitor with screenshot of Facebook Privacy Checkup main page with tiles for Who can see what you share, How to keep your account secure, How people can find you on Facebook, Your data settings on Facebook, Your ad preferences

Either way, I'll walk you through each setting below so you can confidently decide the right changes for you. For each section, I share my recommendations for each topic and what to consider when making your choices. I also have direct links to "hidden" Facebook settings that aren't part of the standard Privacy Checkup but have important privacy implications.


Table of Contents 

Who can see your profile information

Managing who can see your basic profile information

Managing who can see your connections

Control your audience for your Posts and Stories

Managing how you are tagged in posts

Managing who can comment on your public information

Managing old posts

Managing stories and reels

How to block people from seeing your content and interacting with you

How people can find you on Facebook

Your data settings on Facebook

Your ad preferences on Facebook

How to keep your account secure


Who can see your profile information

Here you can see the privacy settings – who can view your information – for your phone number, email addresses, birthday, hometown, relationship status, and other personal details about your life. 

See how other people view your Facebook profile page

Before you start adjusting your privacy settings, take a look at what your Facebook profile looks like to other people. You can go to your profile page and click on menu button (the triple dots under the "Edit Profile" button) and select "View As."

Screenshot of Facebook profile page. You see the person's profile picture pointed out. You also see three dots pointed out with a drop-down menu with View as (pointed out).

The phone numbers associated with your Facebook account

Strong recommendation: Only Me

Under phone number, you'll see the phone number(s) associated with your account and who can view it. Your number is very important because it can be used to reset your Facebook password. By revealing your phone number, you are making it more vulnerable to SIM swapping, where a hacker contacts your carrier (in-store or on the phone) and convinces them to get a new SIM card with your number or port your phone number to another phone. Once the hacker has control of your number, they can receive codes to break into accounts protected by two-factor authentication

To delete or add a phone number, go to your profile page > About > Contact and basic info.

Read more: Find out if you are a victim of SIM swapping

The email addresses associated with your Facebook account

My recommendation: Only Me

Under emails, it will show all email addresses associated with your account and who can view them. Email addresses are important because you can use any of them to log into your account with your Facebook password. Be careful to remove any old email addresses or ones where you're not using secure passwords, because if that email address is hacked, it could compromise your Facebook account, as well.

I recommend limiting your email to "Only Me." The people you know should have your email address and if you accidentally accept an invitation from a friend's spoofed Facebook account, that hacker will have access to your email address. 

To add or delete and email address, go to your profile page > About > Contact and basic info.

Your birthday

My recommendation: Friends

For your birthday, you can choose to share your whole birthday or just the month and day. That way, your Friends can wish you a happy birthday on Facebook on your special day without necessarily knowing your exact age. Birthdays are sometimes used as a security verification for various services, so you want to keep it protected.

To change this info, go to your profile page > About > Contact and basic info.

Your hometown and current city

My recommendation: Only Me

For your hometown and current city, you may want to limit it to "Only Me" so you hackers can't use that personal information for social engineering. Your friends know where you live and can ask you where you grew up if they don't know. 

To change this info, go to your profile page > About > Places lived.

Your relationship status

My recommendation: Personal choice

If you have set a relationship with another Facebook user, it will be shared unless you set it otherwise.

To change this info, go to your profile page > About > Family and relationships.

Your work history and where you went to school

My recommendation: Personal choice

You can choose to share your work history and where you went to high school, college, and graduate school. This setting may help old friends find you or for networking purposes. 

To change this info, go to your profile page > About > Work and education.

Your friends list on your profile page

Strong recommendation: Friends or Only Me

I highly recommend setting this to Friends only or even "Only Me." Keeping your Friends list public puts your friends at risk for account cloning scams. The scam only works when the person behind it can contact your friends pretending to be you to request money or send phishing messages, such as the classic "Is this you?" video scam.

To change this setting, go to the Facebook Settings page for How People Find and Contact You.

Read more: What is Facebook Account Cloning & What Can You do about It?

The people and Pages you follow

My recommendation: Personal choice

Facebook lumps people and Pages you follow together. Consider whether there are any sensitive Pages you follow that you wouldn't want the world or your Friends to know about.

To change this setting, go to your profile page > Friends > menu (the triple dots next to "Find Friends") > Edit privacy.

Choose your audience for Posts and Stories

In this section, you can select who can read your future posts and stories, as well as read your prior posts on Facebook.

Choose your default audience

My recommendation: Friends or Custom

"Default audience" is where you set who will see your regular posts, including text posts, photos, and videos. My advice is to keep it to Friends unless you are trying to promote yourself to everyone or you have a specific need for a Custom setting (e.g., to exclude a toxic friend or relative).

You can choose who can see your future posts by going directly to the Facebook Settings page for Posts.

You can always override your default setting for a specific post at the time you create it by clicking on the downward caret next to the audience and selecting a new one.

When you are tagged in a post created by someone else, choose who can see the post (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

Strong recommendation: Only Me

If you are tagged in a post by someone on Facebook, your Facebook friends may see the post in their feeds even if they aren't friends with the original poster. This is a huge privacy and scam risk because someone can tag you in a photo that you do not want to be associated with, whether it's an embarrassing photo from last night's drink fest or a pure spam post (which I have seen tons of in my feed). So I strongly recommend setting this to "Only Me".

You can choose who can see posts you're tagged in by going directly to the Facebook Settings page for Profile and Tagging, and you'll find the option in the "Tagging" section.

Choose who can post on your profile (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Friends

My advice is to keep it to Friends, unless you enjoy random comments from strangers.

If you want to check or change this setting, go to the Facebook Settings page for Profile and Tagging, and you'll find the option in the "Viewing and sharing" section.

Choose who can see what others post on your profile page (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

You may not want everyone to see what other people are posting on your profile page. If you want to check or change this setting, go to the Facebook Settings page for Profile and Tagging, and you'll find the option in the "Viewing and sharing" section.

Choose to hide comments with specific words on your profile page (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

If you're concerned about crude language appearing on your profile page, you can add up to 1,000 keywords that will cause a post to be hidden. The post will still remain visible to the people who posted and their Facebook Friends.

If you want to check or change this setting, go to the Facebook Settings page for Profile and Tagging, and you'll find the option in the "Viewing and sharing" section. Though you're probably better off just limiting who can post to your profile to Friends (unless your friends are the problem!)

Choose to review posts you're tagged in before they appear on your profile (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Turn this on

If you are tagged in a post, the post defaults to automatically showing up on your Timeline. I recommend you choose the setting to review the posts before they appear to avoid embarrassing or spam posts appearing in your timeline. Go to the Facebook Settings page for Profile and Tagging, and you'll find the option in the Reviewing section.

Choose to review tags people add to your posts before they appear on Facebook (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Turn this on

Posting an old photo from a school or work outing? Once you share it, your Facebook Friends may want to tag more people in the photo. By default, your Facebook Friends can add tags. However, you can choose to review these tags before they appear on your post. Go to the Facebook Settings page for Profile and Tagging, and you'll find the option in the Reviewing section.

Choose who can comment on your public posts (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

When you create a public post, everyone on Facebook can see it. However, you can limit who gets to comment on your public posts. You can choose this setting based on your posting objectives.

If you want to check or change this setting, the Facebook Settings page for Followers and public content

Choose who can comment on your public profile pictures and other public profile information (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Friends

When you post a new profile picture or change other Public profile information, the default setting is that only Friends (and Frends of anyone tagged) can like or comment. I recommend leaving this setting as is. 

To change this setting, go to the Facebook Settings page for Followers and public content.

Find and remove old posts from your Timeline that you were tagged in (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

Ever been tagged in an embarrassing photo from two decades ago uploaded by that old college classmate? You can remove these tagged items by going to your profile page (you can access it by clicking on your profile photo in the side menu bar) and click on Manage Posts.

Screenshot of Facebook profile page. On the right side, you see from the top: Edit cover Photo, Edit Profile, Life Event and then Manage Posts, which is pointed out.

In the box that pops up, click on "Filters." In the Post Filters box, you can select "only show posts I'm tagged in." You can choose to hide the posts or remove the posts. First, go through and select the posts where you want to remove yourself (untag yourself), click "Next," and select "Remove Tags." Then go through and select the posts that you want to be able to view but don't want others to see in your Timeline, click Next, and then select "Hide Posts."

Choose who can view old posts

My recommendation: Turn on Limit Past Posts

When you limit your past posts here, it will apply to ALL of your posts, including Public posts those share with "Friends of Friends," to only Friends. Unless you're a celebrity or running a page that is used to generate interest in a business that you run, you will likely want to keep your activity restricted to those you have Friended. Keep in mind that anyone who is tagged in your posts and their Facebook friends may still be able to view these posts.

You can choose who can view old posts by going directly the Facebook Settings page for Posts and clicking on "Limit Past Posts" in the "Your Activity" section.

Choosing an audience for a single old post (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

If you want to change the audience for specific posts, you'll have to go into each post individually to change it. You can change the sharing settings of any individual Facebook update by clicking on the triple dots, then selecting "Edit audience."

Choose who can view your Stories

My recommendation: Personal choice

For "Stories," which are visible for 24 hours, you can limit your audience to your Facebook Friends or create a custom list of people with whom you want to share your stories. You can only set your default story audience within the Privacy Checkup.

For individual stories, click on the cog next to "Your Story" when you create a story, and you'll find the option to change your story audience for that story.

Choose whether you will allow others to share your Stories if you mention them (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

If you tag someone in a Story, that person can share it to their Story, along with your full name and a link to your post.

You can disable this feature by going to Facebook Setting page for Stories.

Choose whether you will allow others to share your public Stories to their own Story (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation Personal choice

If your Story is public, you can allow others to share your Story to their own Story, along with your full name and a link to your original Story. Go to the Facebook Settings page for Stories to make your choice.

Choose whether you will allow others to share your public Reels to their own Story (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation Personal choice

If your Story is public, you can allow others to share your Story to their own Story, along with your full name and a link to your original Story. Go to the Facebook Settings page for Reels to make your choice.

Choose whether other people will see the total number of reactions to posts you share (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

If you don't want other people to see the number of reactions to your posts, you can turn off showing post reactions.

Go to the Facebook Settings page for Reaction preferences and toggle off "On your posts."

How to block people from seeing your content and interacting with you

Block a person from interacting with you on Facebook

Blocking a person means that you are invisible to that person on Facebook. So if a mutual Friend tags you in a post, that person won't see the post. If you comment on a mutual Friend's post, that person won't see the comment. There are a few exceptions. If you both use a Facebook app or game or if you've both joined a group, the blocked person could see you. And, the person you block won't disappear entirely from your view. If a mutual Friend posts a photo and tags the blocked person, you may still see it on your Friend's timeline.

To block someone, go directly to the Facebook Settings page for Blocking and select the Edit button next to "Block users." If you just want to prevent a person from seeing posts that you share with Friends, you can add them to your Restricted list (also on the Blocking page). Click on the "Edit" button next to "Restricted list" to add them. 

Block just messages and video calls (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

If you just want to stop a person from sending you messages or attempting to connect via a video call in Messenger, you can go to the Facebook Settings page for Blocking and select the "Edit" button next to "Block messages" to add their name.

Block just app invites (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

If you just want to stop a person from sending invitations to try an app (occurs when one of your friends is trying to get free stuff in a game), you can go to the Facebook Settings page for Blocking and select the "Edit" button next to "Block app invites." 

Block just event invites (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

If you just want to stop a person from sending event invitations, you can go to the Facebook Settings page for Blocking and select the "Edit" button next to "Block event invites."

Block apps (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

If you want an app to stop contacting you and prevent the app from obtaining non-public information about you through Facebook, you can go the Facebook Settings page for Blocking and select the "Edit" button next to "Block apps" to add the name of the app. 

Block Pages (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

If you want a Page to stop interacting with your posts or be able to like or reply to your comments, you can go to the Facebook Settings page for Blocking and select the "Edit" button next to "Block Pages" to add the name of the Page. You will be unable to post to the Page's Timeline or message the Page. And, if you currently like the Page, blocking the Page will automatically unlike and unfollow the Page.

How people can find you on Facebook.

This section walks you through the ways that you can limit how people can find you through search engines (like Google), or with your phone number, email or name on through Facebook.

Choose who can send you a Friend request

My recommendation: Personal choice

You have two options for limiting who can send you a Friend request: Everyone or Friends of friends. Unless you're being inundated with requests or don't want to be found, I recommend leaving the setting on Everyone so legitimate people who want to connect can.

You can access this directly by going to the Facebook Settings page for How people find and contact you.

Choose whether people can use your phone number or email to find you

My recommendation: Personal choice

People can look you up on Facebook with your phone number or email address, even if you have them hidden on your profile. This method makes it easy for people you know to find you, especially if you have a common name on Facebook, like Jane Smith. Have the settings option set to "Everyone" or "Friends of Friends" if you want people to find you using your email address or phone number. Or, you can also choose to fully hide your email addresses or phone numbers by selecting "Only me" as the audience. The settings you choose apply to all of your phone numbers or all of your email addresses.

You can access this directly by going to the Facebook Settings page for How people find and contact you.

Choose whether your Facebook profile appears on search engines

My recommendation: Personal choice

You can find your public Facebook profile page on search engines like Google. If you don't want your Facebook profile coming up in search, you can toggle this setting off in the privacy checkup or you can access it directly by going to You can access this directly by going to the Facebook Settings page for How people find and contact you.

Choose how message requests are delivered (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

When your Facebook Friends message you, you'll see them appear in the Messenger Chats window. However, other people may try to contact you via Messenger as well: "people with your phone number," "Friends of friends," and "others on Facebook." If you don't want strangers contacting you, send messages requests to "Don't receive requests." If you want to see the request before approving them to chat with you, select "Message requests."

You can set your preferences by going to the Facebook Settings page for How people find and contact you.

Your data settings on Facebook

Facebook makes it easy to log into other websites and apps with your Facebook account. If these conveniences are too invasive for you, here's where to turn them off.

Using Facebook to log into apps and websites

My recommendation: Remove connections

Instead of creating a new username and password for an app or website, you may have used your Facebook account. If you no longer use the app or website, it's a good idea to remove the connection. However, some apps and websites may hold valuable information about your account. Note that when you remove the connection to your Facebook account, you will lose access to your third-party account.

Remove login with Facebook for specific apps and websites

My recommendation: Personal choice

In the Facebook Privacy Checkup, you'll see a list of all websites and apps that you've connected to your Facebook account. To remove connection, click the 'Remove" button next to the app or site. In the pop-up window, you'll be given the option to "delete all of the posts, photos, and videos that the site or app has posted on your Timeline" and/or "Allow Facebook to notify [app name] the login was removed." This second option may enable you to recover data in the account you created with your Facebook login.

Screenshot of removing app from Facebook. Shows removing Grubhub

Turn off login with Facebook for apps, websites, and games (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

You can turn off the ability to use Facebook to log into apps, websites, and games.

Go to the Facebook Setting page for Apps and Websites and click on the "Turn off" button next to "Apps, websites and games." 

Turn off game and app notifications (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

You can turn off annoying notifications for game requests from friends, game status updates, and app notifications.

Go to the Facebook Setting page for Apps and Websites and click on the "Turn off" button next to "Game and app notifications."

Your ad preferences on Facebook

Meta will show you ads on Facebook – that's how they make their money. It's just a question of whether those ads will be targeted to your demographics and interests or non-targeted (and, perhaps, less relevant to you). 

Choose the profile information to share with marketers

My recommendation: Personal choice

Here, you can choose whether to share your marital status, employer, job title, and level of education with advertisers. This doesn't remove the information from your Facebook profile; it just impacts the ads you see.

You can also go directly to Meta Settings page for Ad Preferences and clicking on "Manage info" and then "Profile information." There you can toggle off any data you don't want to share.

Choose which interests to share with marketers (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

In addition to basic profile information, Facebook uses other information you've shared with it to serve you ads. You can remove interest categories, by going to Meta Settings page for Ad Preferences and clicking on "Manage info" and then "Profile information." In the "Categories associated with you" section, click on "View and manage." If you have other demographic or behavioral categories in your Ad Preferences, you can click on the "Remove" button next to any categories you don't want used to target ads to you.

See fewer ads about specific topics (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

While you can't choose to see fewer ads overall, you can choose to see fewer ads in specific categories. Go to the Meta Settings page for Ad topics. There you can choose to "See less" of any topic listed. 

Turn off personalized ads based on information advertisers share about you (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

You can choose to prevent Facebook from using data from its partners to show personalized ads. Go Meta Settings page for Ad topics and in the "information other advertisers share about you" section you can select "Activity information from ad partners" to make your selection.

Choose which advertisers can use their own audience list to target you with ads (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

Some companies have lists of people that they want to reach with their ads. Facebook allows companies to target ads based on these lists, or even exclude you from seeing ads (for example, the DNC may want to exclude their ads from people on the RNC list). You can choose not to be shown ads using a list, as well as not be excluded from seeing ads. Go to the Meta Settings page for Audience-based advertising. There, you will see a list of all of the companies that have you on their audience list. Click on a company, and you can find out why you were included in the advertiser's audience. Click on the arrow next to the reason, and you can choose whether the company's list can be used to either include or exclude you from seeing ads.

Choose whether you are shown ads off Facebook based on your interests (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

Facebook serves a lot of advertising on websites and through apps off of Facebook. You can turn off personalized ads for those sites and apps, by going to the Meta Settings page for Ad preferences and selecting the "Manage info" tab. Click on "Ads shown outside of Meta." There, you can choose "Allowed" or "Not Allowed."

Hide ads from specific brands (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

My recommendation: Personal choice

If you're tired of being inundated with a specific company's ads, you can choose to hide them. Go to the Meta Settings page for Ad preferences and select the "Customize ads" tab. The click on "See all" next to "Advertisers you saw ads from." There you will find a list of the advertisers you have seen most recently, and you can click on the "Hide Ads" button next to any offenders.

Choose whether your social interactions with a company show up in ads

My recommendation: Only Me

Have you ever liked or followed a company, made a comment, shared a company's Page, checked into an event held by a company, made a recommendation, or joined a Facebook event held by a company? Facebook can broadcast your action as an advertisement to all your friends.

If you don't like this type of inadvertent endorsement, you can limit who can see these social interactions alongside ads to "Only me."

You can also go directly to the Meta Settings page for Ad preferences and click on "Social interactions." In the popup, you can select "Only me" or "Friends."

How to keep your account secure

In this section, you can change your password, turn on two-factor authentication, and get alerts when there is an unrecognized login to your account. If you already have two-factor authentication turned on and alerts are set for unrecognized logins, you'll receive the message that "You're all set. No security actions are recommended at this time."

Use a strong password

Strong recommendation

Do you have a strong password for your Facebook account – one that is unique to Facebook and at least 16 characters, including upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters? If the answer is no, you should strongly consider changing your password.

To ensure you remember your new strong password and to make it easier to use strong passwords going forward, I highly recommend using a password manager. We are fans (and users) of Dashlane and 1Password.

To change your password, you can go directly to the Facebook Settings page for Password and security.

Read more: Check how long it would take to crack your existing password

Turn on two-factor authentication

Strong recommendation

A strong password is essential, but that's not enough if it's compromised in a data breach or you are tricked into giving it away in a Facebook credentials phishing attack. That's where two-factor authentication comes in. When two-factor authentication is turned on, anyone trying to log into your account from a new device or browser would need to provide a one-time-use code delivered via an app, text message, or email. I highly recommend turning on two-factor authentication.

You can also go directly to the Facebook Settings page for Password and security and select "Two-Factor Authentication" to set it up.

You should also check the list of devices and browsers that don't require a code when you log in to ensure there aren't any of your old devices on the list. To check this, go to the Facebook Settings page for Password and security and select "Two-Factor Authentication." Once you've logged in, you'll see a box, with a section entitles "Authorized Logins." Click the "Recognized devices" button to view the list of devices that don't require a login code.

Read more: How to Protect Your Accounts with Two-Factor Authentication

Receive alerts when there is an unrecognized login to your Facebook account

Strong recommendation

You can choose to receive Login alerts that will be sent every time you log into your account from a device or browser that you don't usually use.  You can choose to have alerts sent via Facebook, email, or both. Note that a new web browser looks like a new computer to Facebook.

You can go directly to the Facebook Settings page for Password and security and select "Login alerts" to turn them on and select your delivery method.

Check where you're logged in (Not part of Privacy Checkup)

Strong recommendation

In addition to receiving alerts when there is an unrecognized login, you can check to see which devices have logged into your Facebook account. You can see where you're logged into Facebook – the device and physical location – by going to the Facebook Settings page for Password and security and select "Where you're logged in." If you see a suspicious login, you can click on it and then select "Log Out." Worst case scenario is that you'll have to log in again on a device you own, so err on the side of logging out.

Final thoughts

That covers the extensive privacy setting options on Facebook. If you want to dig even further into how Facebook is using your personal data and activities, read Facebook's latest privacy policy

Still confused by a specific issue or question with your account? Ask below in the comments, and we'll do our best to help you out.

[Image credit: screenshots of the Facebook site via Techlicious, computer mockup via Canva]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, NBC and dozens of other TV and radio networks.


Topics

Facebook, Computers and Software, Computer Safety & Support, Tips & How-Tos, Privacy, Tech 101, Social Networking


Discussion loading

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From Del Malcolm on February 13, 2016 :: 9:40 am


In the post’s privacy options I see you can pick from geographical locations in a list of places you’ve lived. But is this going to share with people who are listed as living there now, or will it include those who are ‘from’ that area and/or people who also lived there in the past?

Basically I want to withhold some chat about my history from new friends in my new town, but is okay with old friends who also lived there years ago.

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From James on March 29, 2016 :: 7:36 am


Hi Josh, firstly thank you so much for you time and dedication to answering peoples questions.  My question is; I have a private conversation that I host on my wall and have selected just one person in custom audience. I want to tag that person to alert them when I add to the conversation… but I’m scared that by tagging them there is a possibility that the post will appear on there timeline and could therefore appear on their friends newsfeeds (despite having done the custom audience thing)  What do you think?

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From Josh Kirschner on March 29, 2016 :: 8:07 am


According to facebook, “When you tag someone, that content (ex: photo, post) may be shared with the person tagged and their friends. This means that if you haven’t already included their friends in the audience, their friends may now be able to see it. For example, if you tag Jane in a photo shared with your friends, the audience expands to Friends (+) to include your friends and Jane’s.”

So their friends would be able to see the conversation. To prevent this, “you can turn this setting off for each post when you post it. To do this, click the audience selector next to the story, select Custom, and uncheck the Friends of those tagged box.”

But it gets more complicated…Again, according to Facebook, “The audience also expands to Friends (+) when others tag your post or photo.” So even if you set it to private, it would seem your friends could undo your efforts. However, you can approve or dismiss tags that friends add to your posts before they appear on Facebook by following these steps: https://www.facebook.com/help/247746261926036

As the above suggests, Facebook is generally a bad place to hold conversations you truly want to keep private. There are just too many ways to slip up. Also, setting up a Private Group may be easier for you to manage a private conversation than doing it through your wall.

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From James on March 29, 2016 :: 9:01 am


Thanks for confirming what I suspected, that it’s a tricky one!  it would only take one slip up or a temporary “overnight” test of a new facebook algorithm and bingo I’ve been a part of revealing personally confidential information..  the two parties involved will either not tag, move to a private group or email! I just loved the convenience of the fb approach grin  you’re a star

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From Melissa Katherine on March 30, 2016 :: 10:00 am


Is there anyway that I can comment on pictures/posts on a friends page but so that their friends cannot see what I have put/said?

Thanks

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From Josh Kirschner on March 30, 2016 :: 11:26 am


Privacy settings for a post and comments are controlled by the original poster. So any comments you add will be be visible to anyone who can see the post.

Reply

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From zubia on April 01, 2016 :: 3:22 am


there is not a privacy setting on messages. there should b this setting that no one can send messeges to us

Reply

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From Josie Summers on April 20, 2016 :: 2:19 pm


Hello i was wondering if facebook allowed you to share stuff publicly, but stop some of your friends seeing it? Is this an option?

Thanks

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From Josh Kirschner on April 21, 2016 :: 7:37 am


You can block certain people from seeing a post you set to “Friends” in the Custom settings, but not posts set to “Public”. And frankly, not sure why you would want to. If you’re making a post public, there’s always a chance your blocked friends will see it through some means. My advice for Facebook is anything you don’t want everyone to see, don’t post on Facebook, even just to Friends. You never know how or if something is going to leak out because you got the privacy settings wrong or because of a Facebook privacy quirk.

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From Deborah Ann Towers-Best on May 25, 2016 :: 7:41 am


I recently shared a video with friends but customised the privacy settings so that there were certain people who could not see the video. Facebook assures you that those blocked people will never know that they are blocked. The video was shared on an entertainer page and unfortunately the link to the video shows up (even if a person is blocked). When a blocked person clicks on the link the video does not come up, but just a comment to the effect that they essentially are not allowed to see the video. So basically they do know that they are blocked. This particular instance caused a lot of problems for me at the time.

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From Josh Kirschner on May 25, 2016 :: 8:10 am


Facebook is full of privacy “glitches”. For the most part, the privacy settings work as intended, but there are numerous ways things can ultimately leak out. Your story is another example for why my advice has always been to never share anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t be comfortable, in a worst case scenario, with others seeing.

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From Tara Grigg-Tomsett on May 25, 2016 :: 9:02 am


Please can you let me know how I am able to have Private(friends)setting on my personal page, but have my business page set at “public”.  Thank you

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From Josh Kirschner on May 25, 2016 :: 3:58 pm


Business pages are intended to be information for the public about a business, so there is no Facebook privacy setting to make them private or just for friends. Why would you want to make your business info private? Perhaps what you are trying to do would be better handled through a Facebook Group?

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From Tara Grigg-Tomsett on June 28, 2016 :: 6:43 am


Thank you for your response, I had been on a FB forum, but they don’t seem to respond, hence me turning to a different help forum.

I totally agree my business page should be public, but it just meant my Personal page was public - I’ve sorted this out since after visiting other sites.
thank you
Tara

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From Shaan on June 04, 2016 :: 10:20 pm


Once I used the feature of ‘view as’ on facebook to see what some of the friends can see on my profile but I came to found that some of the friends are not able to like and comment but can share. I want to change this to allow all my friends to be able to like and comment my posts.

-The posts were even shared as public and/or friends.

Need help with this asap please.
Thank You smile

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From Henry on June 06, 2016 :: 12:20 am


I posted something that I wanted only one friend to see but I don’t want them to know they are the only one I posted to. Will they know that they are the only one that can see it. Like will they have a notification even if I didn’t tag them, etc?

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From Jen on June 06, 2016 :: 10:44 pm


How do I change the privacy so my mother can’t see when I like someone’s status or meme? She’s driving me crazy asking What’s wrong, but I don’t want to blocker her from my timeline.

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From Sara on June 27, 2016 :: 2:08 pm


Post of fanpage is missing when visitor and cunsomer couldn’t see new post when they are trying to view the page

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From Wendy on June 28, 2016 :: 3:31 pm


I find that I dont get online at certain times because how face book shows how long ago I was online…. There are people I dont want to know how long ago when or how many min ago I was online…. I dont want to delete these people.. but I dont want them to know .... 

Is there ANYTHING that can be done?

Thank you so much for your time!!

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From Josh Kirschner on June 29, 2016 :: 9:49 am


Unfortunately, there appears to be no way to hide your last active time on Facebook. I researched some of the suggested solutions online and none of them work. Uninstalling Facebook Messenger isn’t the answer because I don’t have Facebook Messenger installed on my device yet my last active time is still displayed. Turning off what information apps can use doesn’t work, because my settings already have last active time unchecked (so apparently only applies to third party apps). And I would stay away from any browser plugins promoted for this purpose because I can’t imagine how they would make a difference and there’s a chance they may be creating their own privacy issues.

This is one of those cases where giving up another component of your privacy is the price you pay for being on Facebook. If you do find a solution, let me know.

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From Andy Prakken on July 24, 2016 :: 6:27 pm


Josh, Facebook Messenger has nothing to do Facebook itself. You have to login to Messenger from Facebook at the bottom right hand side by clicking onto the square with the pencil Icon. I don’t think Messenger has to be installed on Facebook but I could be in Error. Just commenting on this. Andy.

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From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 9:57 am


Messenger doesn’t have to be installed to use Facebook, it is a separate app. I was commenting on some of the common “solutions” I found elsewhere which propose removing Facebook Messenger to fix this issue - it doesn’t work.

Best,
Josh

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From Victor on June 29, 2016 :: 10:32 am


I restrict some people from seeing some of my post, but some I post for all friends. The people who I occasionally restrict aren’t able to post anything to my wall (ie happy birthday, comment on my public posts). How can I allow them to make comments on my page for the posts I allow them to see?

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From Andy Prakken on July 22, 2016 :: 2:23 pm


Why is it that this Complete Guide is Dated July 22nd, 2016 and the first comment is Dated April 05, 2015? Just Enquiring.

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From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 10:08 am


That’s a fair question. Rather than creating a new guide every time Facebook updates its policies, we update the existing guide and add the update date to the bottom. So you can see that this guide was updated on 7/22/16.

We don’t delete the old comments because often the questions asked and answered are still the same common issues people are facing with current versions of Facebook.

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From Andy Prakken on July 25, 2016 :: 1:54 pm


Seems like a fair reply. However, the update date is also shown at the heading of this newsletter, not just the bottom.

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From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 2:18 pm


The date you see at the top of articles (the “published” date) is used by the system to order articles on the homepage and various list pages; articles are listed chronologically, newest first. When we refresh an article, we update the published date so the refreshed article shows up again on the homepage and elsewhere. We add the “updated xx/xx/xxx” comment make it clear that this is an updated article and help explain why comments may be older than the update date.

BTW, we generally only change the published date when there is a major refresh of the article. If we’re just going in to make minor corrections or notes, we leave the published date alone and will put an update date next to the specific note or change.

Hope that helps clarify.

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From Shawn on July 25, 2016 :: 1:03 pm


Is there a way to have separate groups of friends not see one another’s comments on a facebook post that you make? For instance I posted a photo and i’d like both groups to be able to make comments if they’d like but not see each the other groups comments?

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From ERIC on July 30, 2016 :: 12:34 pm


Is there a way to post something to my timeline so my friends can see it but without allowing them to respond or add comments to it?

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From Josh Kirschner on August 09, 2016 :: 4:17 pm


Facebook doesn’t allow you to turn off comments for a single post.

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From Georgia on August 07, 2016 :: 2:14 am


Hi I have my profile as private as i can possibly get it, except people can still see some of the groups I am in under public groups.
This wouldn’t usually be an issue but they seem to be the ones that are local so therefore giving out my location to anyone who clicks on my profile whether they are friends or complete strangers.
Is there any possible way to change this to private without having to leave said Groups?

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From Josh Kirschner on August 09, 2016 :: 4:29 pm


You can hide public Groups from your Facebook profile by going to the Groups section and hitting the edit button in the upper right corner of the Group you want to hide.

Note that while this will hide the Group in your profile, if someone goes directly to that Group and looks up members, they will still be able to see that you are a member.

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From Kimm Schumacher on August 09, 2016 :: 10:17 pm


Hi, I’ve gone to the upper right hand corner on the group I want to hide on my profile page and it only gives me options of Edit notification, leave group or add to favorites.  HELP

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From Josh Kirschner on August 10, 2016 :: 9:19 am


You need to go to Groups through your profile page. Follow these steps:
1) Go to your profile page
2) Click the More dropdown at the top and select Groups
3) You will now see your Public groups. From here you can change the privacy setting.

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From Victor on August 10, 2016 :: 9:43 am


I have my friends group and a professional group that I set up. The professional group are not able to comment on my wall. Is there any way to change this?

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From Kimm Schumacher on August 11, 2016 :: 1:25 am


Hi,  I see my public groups listed under my profile page but I don’t see how to edit private groups…. I don’t want my friends who are also in the group notified every time I make a post. HELP

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From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2016 :: 2:50 pm


You can’t control what others in the group see. They manage that themselves through the group notifications settings. So if they’re seeing too many group notifications, they can set it to see fewer.

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From Ala Issa on August 20, 2016 :: 2:34 am


When I am commenting on a ‘shared’ post, I want my comment only seen by my Facebook friend who shared the item. How can I do it?

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From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2016 :: 2:51 pm


When commenting on a shared post, the privacy settings for the post are controlled by the poster, not you. So anyone else who can see the post will also be able to see your comments.

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From Ann on August 21, 2016 :: 9:45 pm


I have my photo tagging setting to “only me” ... Inevitably friends tag and post photos of me and I don’t like everyone on my Facebook seeing them. However, there are times I feel rude not clicking “like” to some of these photos…. But if I click ” like” won’t that automatically show up in news feeds of all my friends?...and then they see the photos anyway?

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From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2016 :: 2:54 pm


Facebook’s algorithms control what ends up in the news feeds of your friends. So if you Like a photo, and that photo’s privacy setting would make it viewable by your friends, then yes it might show up. But only a small percentage of what gets posted actually ends up in your feed, so it’s quite likely your friends won’t see it, even if you Like it.

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From Ann on August 21, 2016 :: 10:02 pm


I have my photo tagging privacy setting set to ” only me” because I don’t like to have all of my Facebook friends seeing what some friends inevitably tag me in. However, there are times I feel I as if I am being rude if I don’t click ” like” to those pictures in which get posted from time to time. My question is, if do click like, won’t that photo then show up in all of the news feeds of all my friends on Facebook anyway?

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From CS on August 31, 2016 :: 11:20 am


So annoying - just can’t find any information anywhere on how to stop friends from getting a notification whenever I join or request to join a group - any ideas? thanks….

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From Greg Zeller on September 04, 2016 :: 8:09 am


I am divoreced and still friends with my ex on facebook for the sake of our kids. Recently I started dating someone new but I do not want my ex to see the the new persons profile. Is there a way of hiding/blocking just my ex from seeing just her profile in my friends list or her likes on my posts/shares?

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From Cher Herzig Baggett on September 05, 2016 :: 8:02 am


Hello, I don’t want people to know when I’m on facebook.  How do I hide myself from the “online now” list? I have a friend who waits to see that I’m on facebook and immediately starts messaging and texting me.  I just want some privacy.

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From Anonymous on September 05, 2016 :: 7:33 pm


Hi.  My question is this: if I allow an album to be visible to my friends + friends tagged, but also use the custom option of “Don’t share with these people or lists” ... and I input names of friends that I have that my tagged friend in the album also has (mutual friends,) will those in the “don’t share with” list still see the album since the “friends of anyone tagged” is checked?

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From Robin Privett on September 12, 2016 :: 7:43 pm


Hi
I only want my profile pic to be visible when someone searches my name.  But everything I have ever posted still shows to complete strangers.  Help! and Thanks

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From Donna Edmond on September 13, 2016 :: 8:26 am


Help!I have tried every option to block someone and facebook says that i can’t. Why is that? How do I get around that?

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From Robin Privett on September 13, 2016 :: 4:22 pm


Hi, my daughter and I and tested something out to prove what we feared.  We unfriended each other and then searched each other.  When finding a link to our names and clicking we can both see everything on both our pages.  We have tried to set our pages to Private so only our profile shows and that’s it.  What are we doing wrong?  We don’t want non friends or browsing random people to be able to see our pictures and posts.
Thank you!!!!

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From Helen on September 16, 2016 :: 5:19 pm


If I post a comment on a public Facebook site does that allow anyone who sees it to access my Facebook? Or can they only see that one public post? I have privacy set to friends only but wondered if such a post would give others access to my posts on my Facebook.

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From Helen on September 22, 2016 :: 9:34 am


I recently attended a play and wanted to go on their public website and post a picture and comment about how great the play was. But will that allow anyone who can see my post to see my Facebook page. I have it set to friends only. Thank you.

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