Social Media: Facebook Privacy Settings

Social Media: Facebook Privacy Settings

Before you start…

You may already be a Facebook member, or you may be deciding whether or it Facebook is a good investment of your time. Either way, you should take the time to understand your options for Facebook security. See the sections below which describe your Facebook security settings and options.

Change Privacy Settings

You are responsible for your own privacy settings on Facebook, and you should consider which settings you would like to change to protect your information. By default, Facebook makes most of your information available to your friends and everyone else in your network (i.e., the Cedarville University network).

Following these suggestions does not guarantee the security of your information.

Critical Suggestions

Your birthdate, home address, email address, and phone number are the most compromising information you can display on Facebook.

To prevent Facebook from displaying your critical information:

  1. Log into Facebook.
  2. Click the down arrow located at the top-right hand corner of your account.
  3. Click "Settings" > "Privacy."
  4. Edit your specific settings by clicking "Edit" for each privacy category you would like to modify.
  5. Follow any on screen instructions to change specific settings.

Do not display information to anyone whom you do not trust. Remember, your friends can always ask you to send them your contact information in a message. Never post any addresses, phone numbers, or other important information on your friends' walls.


Unless you trust all the people in your networks, you will probably want to allow only your friends to view your information. Do not accept friend requests from people who should not have access to your information.

Create a List

Facebook has made a way to group your friends into a list. The most beneficial use of lists is to restrict a list in your privacy settings, but you can also use a list to only view updates from that particular sector of your friends.

  1. Open the Facebook homepage.
  2. Scroll down to "Friends" on the left-hand side of your home page.
  3. Click [+ Create a List] at the top of the page. The "Create a New List" box will open.
  4. In the box that says "List Name," type the name you want to give your group.
  5. Type the names of the friends you want in the "Members" text box, then click their name when it appears.
  6. When you have selected all the friends you want in your list, click [Create].
  7. The list will now appear under your "Friends" sidebar and will be available to add exceptions.

Set Exceptions

When working with your privacy settings, you can set exceptions so that certain people cannot see particular information. You can set exceptions for individuals or for a whole list of friends.

  1. Click the down arrow located at the top right-hand corner of the page.
  2. Go to "Settings" > "Privacy."
  3. In the "Who can see my stuff?" section, click [Edit] next to "Who can see your future posts?".
  4. Click the down arrow on the [Friends] button. (Your button will say the particular list of people you have set to see your posts.)
  5. Select "Custom."
  6. Under the "Don't share this with" section, begin typing someone's name or the name of a list you created. Select the people or list when it appears.
  7. When you have added all the exceptions you want, click [Save Changes].
  8. You can remove the exception by opening the Custom Privacy box and clicking the [X] next to the person's or list's name.

Security Settings

By changing the settings described below, you can allow friends to access your profile and information while keeping you safer than the standard settings.

Facebook Search

  1. Click your name at the top of the home page.
  2. Under your cover photo, click the [Update Info] button.
  3. Here you can change what Facebook users who are not your friends can view by clicking on the icons next to the information you want to change the privacy settings of.

Web Search

  1. Click the down arrow at the top right-hand corner of your home page > "Settings" > "Privacy."
  2. In the "Who can look me up?" section, click [Edit] next to the appropriate option to change who and how people can find your Facebook account.
  3. If you do not want outside websites (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing) to find your Facebook profile, click [Edit] then uncheck the box.


  1. Click the down arrow at the top right-hand corner of your home page > "Settings" > "Privacy."
  2. On the left-hand side bar, select "Apps."
  3. Here you can set which outside applications can access your profile by clicking the [x] next to the particular application.
  4. To find the advanced settings of the application, click [Edit] next to the particular application.

Keywords: social media, Facebook, facebook, security, privacy, settings

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