Default Facebook tends to make everything you host on your network public. Critics of Facebook see this as an intrusion into people’s right to privacy. However, it’s easy to make changes that protect your privacy.

These instructions are for the desktop version of Facebook.

Illustration of the Facebook logo behind a drop-down curtain on a computer monitor
Nusha Ashjaee @Lifewire

Change the default sharing with privacy settings and tools

Make sure Facebook is set to «Friends» by default and not «Public» so that only your friends can see your posts.

To access the Facebook settings and privacy tools screen:

  1. Select arrow in the top right corner of any Facebook screen.

  2. Select Settings from the drop-down menu, and then select Confidentiality on the left panel.

  3. First item on the list Who can see your future posts? Select » Change» and select » Friends» in the drop down menu.

    Facebook Privacy Settings Screenshot
  4. Select close, to save changes.

  5. You can also change the audience for previous posts on this screen. Look for the area with the inscription Restrict audience to posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or the public? Select Limit Past Posts then select again Limit Past Posts .

This setting modifies all of your previous posts that were marked as «Friends of Friends» or «Public». You can override the default privacy setting for individual messages at any time.

Take your Facebook friends list

Facebook makes your friends list public by default. This means that everyone can see it. You can change your settings in Facebook settings or on your profile page.

Screenshot: Who can see your friends list?  in Facebook settings
  1. On the Screen «Privacy Settings» and «Tools» click » Change» Near » Who can see your friends list?

    Screenshot: Who can see your friends list?  in Facebook settings
  2. Select » Friends» or » Only me» to keep your friends list private.

  3. Also, go to your Facebook profile page. (Click your name on any Facebook page to get there.)

  4. Go to tab » Friends » under cover photo .

  5. Click three-dot menu at the top of the Friends screen and tap Change privacy» .

  6. Select an audience next to Who can see your friends list?

  7. Select an audience next to next . (Who can see the people and pages you follow?)

  8. Click X Icon, to save changes.

Check your profile privacy settings

Your Facebook profile is public by default, which means it is indexed by Google and other search engines and is viewable by anyone.

Privacy Experts Recommend You View profile settings for each item in your profile.

  1. Select your name at the top of any Facebook screen to go to your profile.

  2. Select Edit Details in the left pane of your profile page. The Customize Your Intro window opens.

    Screenshot: Edit details on Facebook profile
  3. Uncheck the boxes next to the information you want to keep private. This includes fields next to education, your current city, your hometown, and other personal information that you have added to Facebook. To edit an element, click pencil icon .

Make your profile invisible to search engines

To see what the public sees when they visit your profile, select icon » Additionally» (three dots) in the lower right corner of the cover photo and select » View As» . You can completely block the display of your profile in search engines.

  1. Select the arrow in the top right corner of any Facebook screen.

  2. Select » Settings» from the drop-down menu and then select » Confidentiality» on the left panel.

  3. Near Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile? select Change and uncheck the box that allows search engines to see you on Facebook.

Use Facebook’s built-in audience selector

Facebook provides audience selectors that allow users to set different sharing options for each piece of content they post to the social network.

When you open the status screen to make a post, you’ll see the privacy settings you’ve chosen to use by default at the bottom of the screen. Sometimes you can change this.

Screenshot Who needs to see this?  on Facebook post

Click the privacy button in the status field and select an audience for that particular post. Options include the usual publication , friends andOnly Mealong with Friends exceptand specific friends.

With the new audience selected, write your post and select Post to send it to the selected audience.

Change Privacy Settings on Photo Albums

If you have uploaded photos to Facebook, you can change photo privacy settings by album or by individual photo.

To change the privacy settings for a photo album:

  1. Go to your profile and select Photo.

  2. Choose albums.

  3. Select the album for which you want to change the privacy settings.

  4. Select Change .

  5. Use audience selector, to set privacy settings for the album.

Some albums have audience selectors on each photo, which allows you to select a specific audience for each photo.

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