Five ways you can change your Facebook profile to take your privacy back
With more of our lives going online, and especially on Facebook, it's more important than ever to have control over who sees what.
Facebook has made several changes to its privacy settings over its lifetime, so it's worth checking up to see if you're still only giving the people you want your private information and photos.
Here are 5 simple ways to protect your privacy.
(1) See what your profile looks like to a stranger
From your Facebook homepage, click your name on the blue bar on the top of the page. Click the three dots next to "View Activity Log" and then select "View As..."
By default you'll be able to see what your profile looks like to members, and can click through to sections such as photos to see what they can see. You can also select a certain friend to see what your profile looks like to them.
(2) Make all your posts private
If you find that to your horror, hundreds of statuses and photos are public, there's a quick way to make everything visible to just your friends.
Click the drop down arrow on the right hand side of the blue bar, go to Settings and then Privacy, and then select "limit past posts". It's a move that's not easily undone, so you'll be asked to confirm that you want your posts made more private.
(3) Make yourself difficult to be found on Google and with phone numbers
Facebook accounts can be found in all sorts of ways: They can be searched for, or if someone has your email address or phone number, they can find you - even if they don't know your name.
On the "Privacy" section of Settings you can choose to be invisible to search engines by answering "no" to "Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?" You can also select whether friends, friends of friends or everyone can find you with your email and phone number.
(4) Adjust what apps are showing your Facebook friends
Many of the most popular apps now connect to your Facebook profile, meaning that your activity on those apps might be posted on your Facebook profile. But to do this, the apps have to get permission, which is where you can step in.
In Settings, go to the Apps section and click "Select All" to see what permissions apps have. You may want some of these to be able to post on your behalf - Instagram for example - but you may not want your dating apps to do so, for example. Click an app to adjust privacy settings.
(5) Approve tags before they appear
When people write on your wall or tag you in a status or photo, you might not want some people to see it. Facebook allows you to review any posts with you tagged in them before they appear on your timeline, although you'd have to report a status or photo for it to disappear.
To turn approval on, go to "Timeline and Tagging" in your settings and turn "Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline" on.