Facebook’s privacy settings finally make sense — for a reason

Security & Privacy

Give Facebook some credit.

A few years ago, its growth seemed unsustainable. Everyone assumed that some other social network would eventually rise up to replace it as had happened to its precursors Friendster and Myspace. And its privacy controls felt purposely confusing.

Now, with more than a billion active users, the site is still growing. Its biggest competitor is Google+, which is isn’t setting the world on fire yet. And it finally has privacy controls that the average user has some hope of understanding.

Why is Facebook finally offering privacy settings that make sense?

Because they’re about to start using your information in new ways that may make you squirm.

You may have already taken Facebook’s tour of the new settings. If you haven’t, you should then consider these 3 recommendations to take control of your profile.

Find this privacy near the upper right hand corner, click on it and select “See more settings” at the bottom of the menu that pops up.


You’ll see this screen:

privacy settings

1. Use “friends” as a default.
Under “Who can see my stuff?” you’ll see “Who can see my future posts?” Unless you have a good reason, go with “Friends”. This will save you from having to backtrack and change the settings on something you didn’t want to get out. Of course, your friends can still share what you put out — as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi learned — so keep in mind that anything you put on Facebook could end up on the front of a newspaper. Also consider using “Friends” as the setting for “Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided? and “Who can look up your timeline by name?”

Facebook is going to be making more and more of your information easily accessible. While it’s smart to consider that anything you post on Facebook could easily made public, you may want to restrict what information strangers can easily browse through.

2.  Do not let other search engines link to your profile.
Unless you use your Facebook profile as a professional tool, you probably don’t want it to be one of the first things people find when they search your name. So we recommend selecting “off” for “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?”

3. Turn of “tag review”.
Next click  on Timeline and Tagging on the left menu.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 6.31.43 PM

You’ll see this screen:


Most people want to allow friends to post on your wall but if protecting your images is your priority, you may want to make it available only for you. Either way, it’s a good idea to select “friends” for “Who can see what others post on your timeline?” This will prevent strangers or even potential mates or employers happening to catch your page right as a friend posted some hilariously sick image on your timeline.

We recommend you turn on “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?” This won’t stop your friends from tagging you in something embarrassing but it will stop it from showing up on your wall if they do.

We definitely recommend you enable “Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook?” This so called tag review will keep you from being in ridiculous tagged pictures or posts that show up in search results.

If you don’t want to be tagged much or don’t like the idea of photo recognition, you may want to select “No one” for “Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?”

That’s a good start. Next time, we’ll walk through Facebook’s security settings.



Rate this article

10 votes


Facebook appears to have removed the ability to limit who can search for you by name. I discovered that I am fully searchable by the public but do not wish to be; my girlfriend is not. When she showed me where to go to change that setting, we discovered that the question “Who can search for you by name?” is no longer available in the Privacy settings; only the “Who can search for you by email address or phone number?” This is complete BS. I may dump FB altogether now.

I have the same problem. I changed my privacy settings for who can find you by name to “Everyone” for about 30 seconds so my brother could find me. I go to my home page and then go back to privacy settings to change it back to “Friends of friends,” only to find that the option for who can search you by name is entirely gone.

This is a nuisance.

I agree as have friends from HS I am I presently just reconnecting with and and would like for them to be able to See me and also aquantaiced on othersl!

Hi Jason:

Great information! Now, I want to know how I can leave Facebook forever? At my age, almost 82, and somewhat computer savvy since the first PC (I still build my own Systems), I really don;t need social networking anymore. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can rid myself of Facebook once and for all?

Bless you guys at F-Secure!


Hi again Jason:

Thank you so much for the link to cancel Facebook. It worked and now I wait for the magic thing to happen in 14 days.

Its a pleasure to work with one who knows the answers to these kind of issue. Thanks again.


Hi Jason
How can the photos on my timeline be made private/not seen by anyone other than friends? I hope this isn’t a stupid question and I’m missing something fundamental 🙂

Hi Jason,

You are really the best and so kind. Thank for your post. Now I know how to manage my privecy with a correct way.

Just to check, if I am creating a page- (business), am I still recomand to chosse “do you want others search engine to link your timeline” ? Sorry, wish this is not stupid question…

Thank you!

Hi there,

I hope you can help me. It’s regarding my Facebook privacy setting. There are only two options in who can look you up sections. They are by name or email address but I don’t have by name option. Some of my friends have therefore I logged in from their account just to see if I can change my setting to look up you by NAME option but still I can’t see that. We are all surprised for not getting that option. Is that something to do with my account or my account is not updated?

Can we get that option back again please???

Please advise 😦

It always amazes me how people sign up without checking the privacy settings, then complain when their identity is stollen…Very good tips on Privacy settings on Facebook

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

You might also like