Privacy on Facebook

Privacy on Facebook

Many people worry that people are spying on them via Facebook, their personal data could get stolen and bad people are tracking their movements. The truth is, your Facebook profile might not be as secure or "private" as you think it is. That's why you must check your Facebook privacy settings today! And Facebook agrees with me! Facebook wants you checking your privacy settings regularly and making private the things you don't want others to see. The entire Facebook/Cambridge Analytica affair highlights just how important it is to keep track of the apps you use, or have used in the past, that are connected to your Facebook account through Facebook Login. This is because the data was gathered through an app called ‘thisisyourdigitallife’, which allowed people to log in to it using their Facebook account. You can find a list of apps that have access to your Facebook data, such as your name, pictures, birthday and friends list, on the App Settings page. There’s a good chance the list will be significantly longer than expected. Clicking each entry in the list shows you the types of data you’ve given them permission to access. By unchecking each box, you can limit how many of your personal details they can get their hands on. You can also unlink the apps from your Facebook account on this page, by clicking the ‘X’ that appears next to them.


The app or game may have stored info from when you were using it, but you can contact the developer to ask that they delete any info they may still have.


Your profile picture on Facebook

Your profile picture is public. When you add or change your profile picture, it appears in a few different places on Facebook:
  • A story will be posted on your timeline and may show up in your friends' News Feeds.
  • The photo will appear in your Profile Pictures album.
  • A thumbnail version of the photo will appear next to your name in different places throughout Facebook. This helps friends identify your posts and comments on Facebook.

If you add a cover photo to your profile, it will be visible to the public, just like your profile picture. This means that anyone can see your current cover photo. You can adjust the privacy settings for a photo you've used as a profile picture or cover photo in the past.

Privacy settings

You can view and adjust your privacy settings at any time. To view and adjust your privacy settings:
  1. Click  at the top right of Facebook and select Settings.
  2. Click Privacy on the left column.

For other things you share on Facebook, you can select the audience before you share.

Privacy shortcuts

Your privacy shortcuts give you quick access to some of the most widely used privacy settings and tools. Click  at the top of the page and then click Privacy Shortcuts to see shortcuts that help you manage:
  • Who can see my stuff?
  • Who can contact me?
  • How do I stop someone from bothering me?
This is also where you'll find the latest privacy updates and other helpful tools. The shortcuts you find here may change over time to reflect the settings and tools that are most relevant.

Privacy checkup

The Privacy Checkup helps you review who can see your posts and info from your profile, like your phone number and email address. It also shows you your settings for apps you’ve logged into with Facebook. You can use the Privacy Checkup to review and adjust your privacy settings to help make sure that you’re sharing with who you want.

To go to the Privacy Checkup:
  1. Click  at the top of any page on Facebook (ex: your homepage)
  2. Select Privacy Checkup
Note: Privacy Checkup isn't available to everyone right now. For example, you may not have access to Privacy Checkup on certain devices. You can still adjust all of the settings covered by Privacy Checkup by going to your privacy settings. Learn more about how to select an audience for your posts, how to adjust privacy settings for apps and games and how to edit basic info on your profile and choose who can see it.

Who can see it?

You'll find an audience selector tool most places you share status updates, photos and other things you post. Click the tool and select who you want to share something with. The tool remembers the audience you shared with the last time you posted something and uses the same audience when you share again unless you change it. For example, if you choose Public for a post, your next post will also be Public unless you change the audience when you post. This one tool appears in multiple places, such as your privacy shortcuts and privacy settings. When you make a change to the audience selector tool in one place, the change updates the tool everywhere it appears. The audience selector also appears alongside things you've already shared, so it's clear who can see each post. After you've shared a post, you have the option to change who it's shared with. If you want to change the audience of a post after you've shared it, click the audience selector and select a new audience. Remember, when you post to another person's timeline, that person controls what audience can view the post. Additionally, anyone who gets tagged in a post may see it, along with their friends.

Lists on Facebook

Lists give you a way to share with a specific audience. You can use the audience selector to choose the list you want to share a post with.

Changing audience of post

You can use the audience selector to change who can see stuff you share on your timeline after you share it. Keep in mind that when you share something on someone else's timeline, they control the audience for the post.
To change the audience of something you've shared on your own timeline:
  1. Go to your timeline and scroll down to the post you want to edit.
  2. Click the audience selector next to the date or time on the post. The icon will be different depending on its current audience settings.
  3. Select your audience from the options that appear (example: Public, Friends, Only Me).

Facebook privacy


  • To edit things like places you’ve lived or your family and relationships, click About below your cover photo, then hover over the info you’d like to change and click Edit. Use the audience selector next to this info to choose who you're sharing it with.
  • Anyone can see your public information, which includes your name, profile picture, cover photo, gender, username, user ID (account number), and networks.
  • Only you and your friends can post to your timeline. When you post something, you can control who sees it by using the audience selector. When other people post on your timeline, you can control who sees it by choosing the audience of the Who can see what others post on your timeline setting.


  • As you edit your info, you can control who sees what by using the audience selector.
  • Before photos, posts and app activities that you’re tagged in appear on your timeline, you can approve or dismiss them by turning on timeline review. Keep in mind, you can still be tagged, and the tagged content (example: photo, post) is shared with the audience the person who posted it selected other places on Facebook (ex: News Feed and search).
  • Set an audience for who can see posts you’ve been tagged in on your timeline.
  • To see what your profile looks like to other people, use the View As tool.

Previous posts

When you share something on your timeline, use the audience selector to choose who it's shared with. If you want to change who you shared something with after you post it, return to the audience selector and pick a new audience.
You can also adjust the audience of many posts at once by using the Limit Past Posts tool in your account settings. When you limit past posts, the audience of all your previous Facebook posts visible to Friends of Friends and Everyone will change and only be visible to Friends. However, anyone tagged in these posts, and their friends, may also still see these posts. To use this tool:
  1. Click  at the top right of Facebook and select Settings.
  2. In the left column, click Privacy.
  3. Look for the setting Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public? and click Limit Past Posts to the far right.
  4. Click Limit Past Posts to confirm your decision.
Keep in mind:
  • If you want to undo this action in the future, you'll need to adjust the audience of each individual post. Limiting the audience of your previous posts cannot be reversed in one click.
  • If you have shared a previous post with a custom audience, such as Friends except Acquaintances or Close Friends, this tool will not change the audience for those past posts.
  • If you tagged someone in the post, the audience of the post will still include the person you tagged and people they include in posts they're tagged in.
  • This tool only controls the audience for posts you've shared. If you've been tagged in someone else's post, they control the audience for their posts.

Add a friend

To change who can add you as a friend:
  1. Click  from the top right of any Facebook page and click Settings.
  2. Click Privacy in the left column.
  3. Click Edit next to Who can send you friend requests?
  4. From the dropdown menu, click Everyone or Friends of Friends.
To make it easier for your friends to find you on Facebook:
  • Use the first and last name you use in everyday life.
  • If people know you by a different name (example: nickname, maiden name), add another name to your account.
  • Add your basic info.

Securing your Facebook account against hackers

Following Three Security Options makes your Facebook Account Secure and Hack Proof:

1. You can enable Login Notification so that whenever any body (or a hacker) tries to login with your User ID and Password, you will receive a Notification on your cell phone and you will come to know that it's time to change your password right now because the hacker has got your password and is trying to log in to your Facebook Account.

  • To Enable Login NoficationGo to Home -> Account Settings -> Security -> Login Notification. 
  • Put a Check Mark on your preffered option and click Save Changes button.

2. Always check your Active Sessions. If you notice any unfamiliar location or device, it means your Facebook Account is at risk. Just click on End Activity and dont forget to change your password after that.

  • To Check Active SessionsGo to Home -> Account Settings -> Security -> Active Sessions. 

3. Enable Secure Browsing to make your account more secure.

  • Go to Home-> Account Settings -> Security -> Secure Browsing.

Security tips

  1. Protect your password:
    • Don't use your Facebook password anywhere else online.
    • Never share your password. You should be the only one who knows it.
    • Avoid including your name or common words. Your password should be difficult to guess.
  2. Use extra security features.
  3. Make sure your email account(s) are secure.
  4. Log out of Facebook when you use a computer you share with other people. If you forget, you can log out remotely.
  5. Run anti-virus software on your computer:
  6. Think before you click or download anything.

How to change password on Facebook?

To change your password on Facebook if you're already logged in:
  1. Click account settings in the top right corner of any Facebook page and select Settings.
  2. Click Security and Login.
  3. Click Edit next to Change Password.
  4. Enter your current password and new password.
  5. Click Save Changes.
If you're logged in but have forgotten your password, follow the steps under Change Your Password then click Forgot your password? and follow the steps to reset it. Keep in mind that you'll need access to the email associated with your account.

How to reset your password on Facebook?

To reset your password if you're not logged in to Facebook:
  1. Go to the Find Your Account Page.
  2. Type the email, mobile phone number, full name or username associated with your account, then click Search.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.
If you're still having trouble, we can help you recover your account.

Sharing photo's

If you’ve shared a photo or a status on Facebook, it’s open to be re-shared by those who have access to it. That means Friends and, if you’ve tagged people, Friends of Friends. If the post is Public then anyone in the world can share it There’s no way around that, other than to set the post to Only Me in the first place, which kind of defeats the point in most cases.

Limit your friend requests

Click Settings > Privacy and head to “who can send me friend requests.” You can change it from Everybody to Friends of Friends, but that’s about as far as you can go. This is also accessible form the Privacy Shortcuts accessed by clicking the padlock.

Facebook privacy settings tutorial

Improve your Facebook privacy

Resource, Header is from Unsplash (Thought Catalog), video's are from YouTube.