Making the most of Facebook privacy – Part I

The full guide to Facebook security settings is now available for download Making the Most Out of Facebook’s Privacy Settings.
Since the long list of new features recently unveiled has begun to be rolled out for all Facebook users; I have been receiving ever-increasing amounts of questions from friends, colleagues and Countermeasures readers concerned with how their online privacy may be affected. So I have put together this guide to Making the Most of Facebook Privacy in 2011. I refer to the forthcoming Facebook feature “Timeline” a lot in this post, but don’t be fooled these settings are available right now, even if you haven’t enabled Timeline yet.
Don’t Get Facejaked
So initially, let’s get to the recommended settings for locking down your Facebook security without having a negative effect on your enjoyment of the social network. Follow the three steps in this earlier blog article to help protect your account from unauthorised access, so-called “facejacking”.
Lock Out Leakage
With that out of the way, let’s go on to tweak your account and privacy setting to better protect the content you share and control the audience with whom you share it. Let’s look at “Account Settings” which can be accessed through the drop down menu in the top right of your Facebook page.


Facebook Account Settings

Facebook Account Settings


App & Adverts
In this menu you should review the individual permissions that you have allowed the Apps that you have installed. Have a first pass through this list and remove any apps you no longer use. Then review individual permissions by clicking the Edit link next to each remaining App. Some permissions are required for an App to work but many optional permissions can be revoked here. At the same time, ensure that the App itself is not giving out too much information by changing the setting “Who can see posts and activity from this app” to “Friends” unless you have specific Apps that you wish to grant greater visibility.
Finally, in the Facebook Adverts section, change the Third party advert settings and Edit Social Advert settings to No one. The default setting here is Friends.
Protect Your Privacy
The changes to Facebook have radically changed the ways in which we can share content with our friends, friends of friends and the general public. There are two main ways to configure this privacy; when you post through the Facebook interface or when you post through a device or App that doesn’t allow per post privacy settings. To configure these settings select Privacy Settings which is accessed through the same drop down menu as above.

Facebook Privacy

Facebook Privacy


The Default Privacy setting only applies to posts made through an interface or App that doesn’t support inline sharing controls. I recommend setting this to Friends, the default setting again is Public.
In the next part of this blog series, I detail some of the more specific settings for controlling how you share information and perhaps more importantly, how information is shared about you.
Part two of this series is available here.

One thought on “Making the most of Facebook privacy – Part I

  1. Pingback: Making the most of Facebook privacy – Part II | Simply Security

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