As the title implies this will be a fairly exhaustive walk-through on how to keep your info safe or more under your control so that certain people only see what you want them to see. Some of this will be familiar to you and some of it will not be. I will try to hit all the points that everyone will need starting from the very basic to the extremely detailed. Also, everything in here is just a suggestion and you can really tailor all this to your specific needs.
Create Friend Lists
From any page in Facebook click on the Account and Edit Friends links on the upper right hand corner.
Click on the Create New List button. For this exercise let’s create a new list named “St. Ann High School Youth” by typing it in the Enter a Name field that you will put any existing or future high school youth you are friends with in this list.
Then add everyone you want to be in this new list by typing their names (if you are already friends with them) into the Start Typing a Name field. Once you’ve added everyone to the list that you’ve wanted to click on the Create List button at the bottom of the window.
A word of warning. If you then look at the your long list of Friends and see that you have some that are in more than 1 List then their settings will default to the Friend List with the least amount of privacy associated with it. So it’s a good rule of thumb to make sure each person you are friends with is only associated with one Friend List. However, if you are going down your list of Friends and see one with Add to List next to it then just click that link and select the desired Friend List you’ve created.
Choose Your Privacy Settings
From any page in Facebook click on the Account and Privacy Settings links on the upper right hand corner.
On this page you will see five headings; Basic Directory Information, Sharing on Facebook, Applications and Websites, Block Lists, and Controlling How You Share.
Start by click on the link for View Settings under Basic Directory Information. I would suggest you put the following settings below as I’ve listed:
Search for me on Facebook – Everyone
Send me friend requests – Everyone
Send me messages – Everyone
See my friend list – Only Me
See my education and work – Friends Only
See my current city and hometown – Friends Only
See my interests and other Pages – Friends Only
From this page at any time you can click the Preview My Profile button and by typing someone’s name in the text field next to Preview how your profile appears to a specific person: you can see how your profile would look to any given person. If when doing that you see that a specific person can see too much on your profile you can then come back to the privacy settings and make the desired changes to lessen their access to info on your profile.
Once you’ve done that then click on Back to Privacy.
Under the Sharing on Facebook heading select Custom from the list and then the link for Customize Settings.
Things I share:
Under this heading I would recommend clicking on the drop down menu next to each item, select Custom edit, and putting the settings to your liking. Here is where I will pull back on my recommendations and let you use your personal judgement as how much info you choose, or choose not to, share with each Friend List you’ve created, i.e. St. Ann High School Youth. When you select Specific People you can add individuals or entire Friend Lists to make it easier. Uncheck the Enable checkbox next to Include me in “People Here Now” after I check in. Now you’ll need to click on the Edit album privacy for existing photos link. Here is where you’ll retroactively set who can and cannot see your photo albums that you’ve previously created before you’ve gone on your spree of regaining profile privacy.
Things other share:
Under this heading I would recommend clicking on the drop down menu next to each item, select Custom edit, and putting the settings to your liking. Leave Friends can post on my wall Enable(d) and if something is ever posted there that you don’t approve of you can always delete it. Set Friends can check me in to Places to Disabled.
Under this heading I would recommend clicking on the drop down menu next to each item, select Custom edit, and putting the settings to your liking.
Once you’ve done that then click on Back to Privacy.
Under the Applications and Web sites heading click on the Edit your settings link. I’m not a big fan of all the games on Facebook like Farmville and Mafia Wars so I did some heavy privacy editing here because they annoy me but your mileage may vary. So here’s what I’ve done:
Game and application activity – Only Me
Info accessible through your friends – Many options, up to your tastes really.
Instant personalization – uncheck Enable instant personalization on partner websites under Edit settings.
Public search – uncheck Enable public search under Edit settings.
From any page in Facebook click on the Account and Account Settings links on the upper right hand corner.
First of all, for this section to be of any use to you then you need to have an e-mail account associated with Facebook that you check DAILY, preferably a private one not associated with work for other safety/privacy reasons. This is very important because these notifications are only effective if you check your e-mail regularly. Checking all the boxes by default is a pretty safe bet right here.
Change both drop menu settings to No one.
That should just about do it. If you have any questions about anything above don’t hesitate to ask.