Facebook’s News Feed Is All About Photos — Here’s How to Protect Yours

Security & Privacy

newsfeedFacebook is now rolling out a new version of its news feed that will take the look of its mobile app and put it on the web. You can get a nice sample of what it will look like and sign up to be one of the first people to get yours here.

But before you do, now is an excellent time to think about something that’s going to be a much bigger issue soon — your photo privacy. The new newsfeed is all about highlight photos and making them easier to share.

In a recent survey of Facebook users, we found out that 1 out 5 have had a picture of piece of content posted on Facebook reused without their permission*.

This is why it’s important to remember the key rule of Facebook privacy: Nearly anything you share on Facebook can be reshared by your friends — no matter how locked down your privacy settings are. You do technically own the content you post on Facebook, meaning Facebook probably won’t claim control of your content (even though its terms and conditions suggest it might be able to.)

But once you post anything on a social network, you’re basically setting it free in the world.

There are also a few key things about photos that many Facebook users are not aware of, though they are listed in Facebook’s privacy help pages:

  • The privacy setting for your Cover Photos album is always public.
  • If there’s a photo of you in an album that someone else posted, only the person who posted it can change the album privacy. If you don’t like the photo, you can remove a tag or escalate the issue.
  • If you share a high resolution photo or album with someone, that person will be able to download those photos.
  • Unlike other photo albums you create, you can choose an audience for individual photos in your Timeline Photos and Mobile Uploads albums. Each time you post a new photo, you pick who sees that photo using the audience selector.
You can always change the privacy setting of any individual album or photo by adjusting the icon. If you want to avoid your friends seeing an embarrassing photo of you that you didn’t post but were tagged in before you do, be sure to use the “Activity Log.” Here’s how:

You can get to your activity log from your privacy shortcuts:

  1. Click your privacy shortcuts in the upper-right corner of the page and select Who can see my stuff?
  2. Click Use Activity Log.

Note: Only you can see your activity log. However, stories in your activity log may appear other places on Facebook, like on your timeline, in search or in your friends’ News Feeds.


*Based on a survey of 495 Internet users contacted in December 2- 31 2012 through Facebook, Twitter and the F-Secure Safe and Savvy blog and conducted through Surveygizmo.


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Thank you for the following: “Facebook is now rolling out a new version of its news feed that will take the look of its mobile app and put it on the web. You can get a nice sample of what it will look like and sign up to be one of the first people to get yours here.”

I signed up.

Cover photos are public, however the newsfeed which arises after changing the cover photo seems to be public – with no option, too….the only way to remove the newsfeed is by deleting the cover photo. This is a bit annoying because you do not necessarily want the fact you are changing your cover photo to be a ‘news’ item.

Sorry, just to add to the above, without deleting the actual cover photo, you can delete the newsfeed item in your newsfeed, something which normally deletes it from the newsfeed of friends. However, in the case of cover photos newsfeeds, it remains in the newsfeeds of your friends undeleted, which is even more annoying because you are fooled into thinking you have resolved the issue.

Changing cover photos is “NOT INTERESTING” – I would change it more often IF … IF it did not have to be on news feed. WHO CARES about seeing it. It’s annoying (mine included).

Wish people would stick to personal and relative news and photos on news feed INSTEAD of saying “if i was a flower I would be a geranium” or “If you love Jesus, share this” … If your mother is in heaven and you miss her, hit SHARE”. If you love your sister, share!!! Good gracious …. makes one feel as guilty as not dropping change in the salvation army bucket every time you enter or exit the grocery. Do you all not have anything to do but look for articles to SHARE. If I wanted to see all of that I would go to a bookstore and read it. This is about friendship not sharing articles you read online all day long. GET A LIFE!

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