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 "Privacy Settings."
  4. Make sure "Custom" is selected.
  5. Edit your specific settings by clicking "Edit Settings" for each privacy category you would like to modify.
  6. 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. Click [+ Create a List] at the top of the page. The "Create a New List" box will open.
  3. In the box that says "Enter a Name," type the name you want to give your group.
  4. Either scroll through and click on the friends you want in the list, or type the names of the friends you want in the search bar, then click their name.
  5. When you have selected all the friends you want in your list, click [Create List].
  6. 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. In your Privacy Setting, click [Customize Settings].
  2. From the list of setting, click the drop down menu for the information you want to add an exception to > Select "Customize."
  3. The Custom Privacy box will open.
  4. Under the "Hide this from" section, begin typing someone's name or the name of a list you created. Select the people or list as it appears.
  5. When you have added all the exceptions you want, click [Save Settings].
  6. 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. Go to "Account" > "Privacy Settings.
  2. At the top of the page is a section on "Basic Directory Information" with a link to "View settings." Click on that link.
  3. Here you can change what Facebook users who are not your friends can view.

Web Search

  1. Go to "Account" > "Privacy Settings."
  2. At the bottom of the page is a section called "Applications and Websites." Click the link for "Edit your settings."
  3. Find the section for "Public search" > Click [Edit Settings].
  4. Here is a checkbox that will "Enable public search." If you do not want outside websites (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing) to find your Facebook profile, uncheck the box.


  1. Go to "Account" > "Privacy Settings."
  2. At the bottom of the page is a section called "Applications and Websites." Click the link for "Edit your settings."
  3. Here you can set which outside applications can access your profile.

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