5 Ways to Maintain Your Privacy on Facebook

Posted by Rachel Plafchan

Jan 26

5 Ways to Maintain Your Privacy on Facebook

Facebook, the Social Media platform of choice for nearly 1.59 billion users across the globe, is known for its unique ability to allow users to share everything.  From your current location, to cute pictures of your cat, to where you work and who your family is, Facebook has a way with encouraging its users to share – and maybe overshare.  In a time where connecting digitally is a normal part of everyday life, are you being vigilant to ensure you are keeping your privacy?  Read on to learn how you can up your privacy while maintaining your online presence.


#1 Ensure That Your Facebook Account is Logged Out

It sounds easy enough – make sure that your account is logged out when you aren’t using it.  However, there are several ways that you can stay logged in without your knowledge.  When setting up your browser settings, make sure that your browser deletes cookies when closed.  This will ensure that you need to login to your account each time your browser is opened.  Additionally, you should always make sure that all browser windows are closed when you are done with your session.  Leaving even one window open can result in your account staying logged in without your knowledge.  This is especially important when you are using public computers – at work, in the library, borrowing a PC.  Not logging out of your account can grant others access to your account and private information.

#2 Utilize Facebook’s Privacy Settings

A great feature that Facebook offers is the ability to adjust your privacy settings.  You can manage who can see what on your profile, and what others can post on your profile.  Using Facebook’s privacy settings you can set different aspects of your profile to be available to only you, your friends, friends of friends, or publicly.  You might want to set your work details as public, but keep your family and relationships visible to only your friends.  Facebook also allows a setting which requires your approval before posts appear on your timeline – this allows you to review and approve posts before others can see them.

#3 Be Aware of What You Post on Pages and Friend’s Timelines

Just because you have your timeline privacy locked down doesn’t mean that everyone does.  You should remember that posts on pages are public – they will appear to everyone who views the page on Facebook, and it can also be picked up by search engines.  This includes both reviews and page posts. Additionally, when posting on your friends timelines, they are in control of who can see those posts.  You can see what privacy settings they have for timeline posts by hovering over the icon next to your post.  In the below image, you can see that posts on Ryan’s timeline are shared with his friends.  I might not be friends with Ryan’s friends, but they can still see my post. If a person has posts on their timeline set to public, anyone can see those posts.  (www.facebook.com)

#4 Want Ultimate Privacy? Delete Your Account

Yes, it’s true.  No matter how attached your account you are, the option to delete it is always there.  Unfortunately it not a totally clean slate – your account will still exist, only in a sort of hibernation mode.  It will not be viewable, but if you choose to return to the world of Facebook you will have the option to reactivate your account at a later date.

#5 Be Careful About What You Post

Don’t want to worry about privacy settings and maintaining who can see what you post?  The answer is simple – be care what you post about.  Keep your posts less personal; leave out details about your location, where you work, and who you interact with.  The best way to maintain true privacy is to keep your personal details off of social media. While you can maintain a certain level of privacy through settings, no information that resides online is truly private.  Being vigilant in what you post is the most foolproof way to maintain your privacy. 


While there are many ways to be vigilant and maintain your privacy on public websites like Facebook, it should always be understood that anything posted online is not truly private.  Even with your Facebook privacy completely locked down, things can happen (hacking, changes in privacy policy) that could jeopardize your privacy.  As such, try to remember that privacy should not be an expectation.  The first step to keeping your privacy is to not post sensitive information to begin with.  It is easier to not post than it is to attempt to remove posts. Enjoy the benefits and connections made with Facebook, while maintaining your privacy and sanity!

Topics: social media

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