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Privacy on Facebook, How To?


My wife wants to start a family Facebook page because most of her friends seem to have stopped communicating any other way. She wants this to be as private as possible, she is not interested in being contacted by anyone other than a rather short list (she is a teacher is not interested in her former students commenting on her wall, etc.). I know the privacy settings have changed recently but know very little about Facebook otherwise. What are the key privacy or other settings that she needs to be sure to activate? In the past these were often hidden. Are they still? How straight forward is making a safe Facebook page?



You just gotta check around in the account settings part, it's all in there. Not too complicated really.


If she is worried she should use a fake name and email address people don't know and then just add the few friends she wants. I only have a fake facebook page i use to follow my tattoo artist and some bands. The privacy settings are pretty straight forward. Just make everything friends only.


Cool. Thanks.


Cool. Thanks.


Hmmm cool thanks (not joking)


Yes you can. By "facebook page" I assume you mean a Facebook account, because "Pages" are usually creating around a central subject or interest.

Anyway, you can change settings to prevent her name from being search and restrict who can PM here and/or find her. People can have access to everything right down to nothing.

My FB is still deactivated, coming up to two months now :slight_smile: FB seems to be changing their privacy settings almost every month now.


Just give me your information, I'll take care of it.


Basically: fuggedabouddit.

If it's online, it's public.

As a popular (among privacy-minded folks) dictum notes: if you're not paying for it, you're the product.

There are privacy settings available, sure. Problem is, Facebook's value proposition is in being a huge privacy-sucking machine.

There are plenty of other ways for data to leak over the 'Net:

  • Through apps. These have access to much of your personal data. Apparently the situation's improved, but older apps may still have "grandfathered" access.
  • Through advertising engines. Ads and ad networks are FB's bread and butter.
  • Through your friends, tagging, and other means. If you can't be found directly, your social graph (a fancy term for "people you know") will probably out you.
  • Through back-end snooping.

True story: I work in tech, was investigating a site outage (large, entertainment-industry site). We'd identified one culprit pretty readily, but I suspected other shennanigans. Two of the biggest traffic streams were a distributed query (from a Canadian hosting provider's netspace, a couple hundred separate IP addresses) hitting an email validation query nobody even knew we had (likely a spammer validating stuff).

The other was a search engine for one of a number of "personal information aggregators" -- those people search / classmate finder type services. Together the traffic was more than we saw from major search engines (search-engine spiders are generally your largest traffic hits), over 10% of our daily hits.

I've also interviewed for numerous companies working with this sort of data -- there's a huge interest in it. I personally don't have a lot of interest in working in that area, though I like to have an idea of what's going on.

Among the reasons the media are having such a spazgasm over FB is that it's a huge marketing/advertising/demographics trove for them as well.

FB have been opening up rather than closing privacy, pretty markedly, over the past few years:


As another tech guy I have to agree with k-dingo, but I think here are the settings you're after.

Under Account Settings->Privacy Settings
- Everything under "Things I Share" -> Set to Friends Only. Disable "People Here Now"
- Things Others Share - Set everything to either Only Me or Friends Only
- Photos and Videos I'm Tagged in - Edit Settings - Only Me
- Friends Can Check Me Into Places - Disable
- Contact Information -> Set all to Only Me

That will lock it down about as much as you can. Don't accept friend requests of people you don't know and don't add apps.


Thanks XanderBuilt, k-dingo, and blackhand. I will pass the instructions on.