By Catriona Aitken Freelance writer and Student in the beautiful bubble of St Andrews. Also loves music, reading & swimming 🐬 She’s passionate about keeping news accessible!

You’ve found your way here because you’re keen to tighten your Facebook privacy settings, perhaps following the recent Cambridge Analytica case.

Here at Kindaba we offer an alternative networking option and aim to make the switch over from Facebook as straightforward as possible. That said, we understand that sometimes you just need some pointers on where to start exploring your privacy options.

To make it all a bit easier, I’ve done the hard part so you don’t have to!

 How to Find the Privacy Settings on Facebook

Image Credit: Catriona Aitken/Facebook

You’ve opened up the app, but now you feel a bit lost. With so many different places to look, where should you start? To find the privacy settings: 

👉🏻 Tap on the bottom left icon of your home screen

👉🏻 Select  “Settings and Privacy”

👉🏻 From the menu, check out “Settings” and “Privacy Shortcuts” pages in particular

👉🏻 Keep your eyes peeled for ‘Default Settings’ as changing these can save you a lot of time in the future!

We’re all about supporting you to have good digital health, so we suggest starting with a password change.  Try and choose something that no one is likely to guess (for some tips, here’s how to pick a strong password).  

Who Can See What I Post?

 

One key thing to be aware of is the important difference between ‘Only Me’, ‘Friends’, ‘Friends of Friends’ and ‘Public’ options. Selecting the right one can make the world of difference in keeping you secure.

It’s perfectly acceptable (and recommended!) to change the privacy setting on individual posts and pictures. You can decide who you want to be able to view things on a post-by-post basis.

Celebrities, public figures, and businesses looking to find new customers are really the main users of the ‘Public’ option. For personal use, it’s usually best to stick to sharing content with ‘Friends’. I also suggest keeping anything more personal, such as your mobile number, set at ‘Only Me’.

A really great trick is to try viewing your page as though you were a stranger. Ever thought what people can glean from your account, even if they don’t have Facebook themselves?  From the desktop version of Facebook, you can look at your account as though you were a specific person, or even just as a member of the general public:

👉🏻 Click ‘More’ on the bottom right-hand corner of your cover picture

👉🏻 Select ‘View As’

 Protect Your Pictures: Are My Selfies Safe?

 

Let’s take a look at what tagging can do for our privacy on FaceBook. Have you ever been really careful about only posting what you want seen, only for a friend to tag you in a photo you didn’t want shared with the rest of the world?  Don’t worry, you can easily ‘untag’ yourself from Friends’ photos. Here’s some steps to consider:

👉🏻 Ask your friend to remove any photo which makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. That’s a good place to start and often does the trick!

👉🏻 “Hide” a post from your timeline, or even report anything inappropriate to Facebook using the drop down menu on each individual post

👉🏻 Select ‘untag’ on any picture you are tagged in by tapping on the drop down menu in top right hand corner.

👉🏻 Choose to ‘Verify’ everything a friend tags you in before it appears on your timeline. Use the Privacy Settings shown in the first section to make that your preference.

👉🏻 Think about who you’re including in your online network of “Friends” in the first place. Limiting your list to only people you really know will make keeping your contented just between your good friends much easier!.

 Is Facebook Keeping Tabs on Me?

 

Following the recent failure of Facebook to follow privacy policy with regard to user data, particularly following the Cambridge Analytica incident, there has definitely been a heightened level of fear and paranoia among Facebook users. While these types of incidents cause doubt in our social media use,  we don’t want it to stop us being able to connect with our families and friends.

How do we strike that balance? Well, did you know that you can request a copy of your Facebook data?

👉🏻 Go to ‘Settings’ (as shown in picture three of the first diagram)

👉🏻 Request to “download a copy of your Facebook data”, which will let you know what’s on file about you!

👉🏻 Customise this file to include whichever information interests you, and Facebook will notify you when it’s ready.

You can also view the third parties that you have allowed to access your Facebook data. We give a lot of other websites, apps and companies our Facebook information when we use the platform to easily log in or sign up for another website. This spreads our login further than we may want, but luckily there’s a way to delete this setting. While you’ll lose the ease of using Facebook to log in to other apps, your details will be a lot safer.

👉🏻 Go into ‘Settings’ (see the first section if you’re unsure where to find this)

👉🏻 Click on ‘Apps’ to view the apps which can access your data

👉🏻 Or select ‘Disable Platform’ to stop giving other apps your data

 

There you have it.  A few of our top tips for feeling safe on Facebook. Not every social media site suits every person, but when you find what’s right for you, be sure to explore the Privacy options available. From setting a strong password to limiting the number of people and outside apps who have access to your data, each of the suggested actions takes only a matter of minutes, but are crucial to putting you in control of what you’re sharing online, and who is viewing it.

 
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