Increase Your Privacy on Facebook

These three tips will help you adjust your settings for maximum control over your visible profile on the social network.

Increase Your Privacy on Facebook

Social networks are amazing and terrifying in equal measure You can reach thousands of people worldwide with a single Twitter update, but cybercriminals can use the same tools to pick the perfect victim.

It’s impossible to remain completely anonymous while you're using social media - and after all. anonymity would defeat the whole point - but every network has a few key. commonly overlooked privacy settings that take only minutes to set up and drastically improve the security of your shared data.

Although Facebook revolutionized the way we communicate, the site also spawned the Facebook Fret: that uncomfortable moment before every blind date, extended-family gathering, and job interview when you worry about whether anyone has noticed the embarrassing Christmas-party video your friend tagged you in on Facebook a few years back.

This article focuses on the three most important privacy settings you should be using, but probably aren't, on Facebook. Five minutes of setup now could help you avert hours of social embarrassment and identity recovery down the road.

Limit who can find you: Stop worrying and make sure that your Facebook profile stays private by clicking the blue gear in the top-right corner of the Facebook website and selecting Privacy Settings. From there, the best thing you can do is to make it harder for strangers to find your Facebook profile in the first place, by blocking search engines from linking to your profile and by limiting who can look up your profile using the email address and phone number you gave to Facebook.

Limiting access to 'Friends' ensures that only people that you've already made a connection with will be able to search for you using your email address and phone number. But since people aren’t likely to search Facebook in that manner unless they specifically want to get in touch with someone, it’s probably a good idea to grant lookup access to ‘Friends of Friends’ That way, you can get some mileage out of Facebook's social network by connecting with people that your friends trust.

Facebook has put together a commendably informative Privacy Settings menu that you can use to limit your visibility in third-party searches, make your past posts private, and more.

Facebook lets you change content visibility on a post-by-post basis.

Stop posting in public: Your next stop on the Facebook Privacy Settings to-do list is the 'Who can see my stuff?' section of the Privacy Settings menu. Set the 'Who can see your future posts?' option to Friends.

Facebook lets you change content visibility on a post-by-post basis. You can, for example, create status updates that are publicly available or visible only to two or three specific people. But the smartest choice is to make post visibility friends-only by default, mitigating the damage of potentially humiliating photos you might upload after a late-night escapade.

To privatize your Facebook profile retroactively, click the Limit Past Posts link and then the Limit Old Posts button. This action ensures that all of the content you've already shared becomes available to only your friends. One caveat, though: If you ever tag anyone in a Facebook update, your tagged content will appear on that person’s Timeline, and thus will be exposed according to the personal privacy settings of that individual.

Lock down your Timeline: Finally, take a moment to safeguard against the threat of embarrassing photos or video popping up in your Timeline without your knowledge by fine tuning Facebook's Timeline Review.

Go to the Timeline and Tagging Settings’ menu (if you’re still in Privacy Settings, you can find the other settings menus on the left side of the screen). Once you're in a position to review your Timeline Settings, scroll down the list of options and turn the one titled 'Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline’ to On.

The three simple changes described above will go a long way toward improving your Facebook privacy, but a bunch of other potentially useful privacy settings are scattered throughout Facebook's Account Settings menus. Take the time to read through them. Facebook is one of the biggest social networks on the planet, and knowing how to control your information is the best way to control how the world views you.