Thursday, October 13, 2011

How To Have Privacy With the New Facebook Timeline


At one glance, the new Facebook timeline might seem that it's too much beating with all your posts and history. Activities and apps used are shared more publicly over to friends and your network. Hence, privacy concerns, all the more, must be kept in mind. Certain settings need to be adjusted to ensure that your posts are not completely or overly exposed unintentionally.

Let me take you through some of the major things you should check.

1. View your profile as a different user

Simply go to your profile and click on the small icon on the right, choose “View As…” to choose a person to view the profile as. 


If you have set your own custom filters (by having different friend lists), choose one family member, school mate, office mate or some acquaintance. This will give you an idea how these different types of people can see your profile. Check your profile like this before and after checking the following settings.

2. Set your default post settings

Whenever you post something on Facebook, be wary of the network or group of people you're sharing it to. In the old version of Facebook [wall], you cannot change the privacy settings of posted posts. In the new timeline, you can still limit the audience for past posts easily. So if you think you've made some embarrassing public posts before and hadn’t yet friended your boss, this is the tool for you.

To do this, go to Home > Privacy Settings and find the section for “Limit the Audience for Past Posts." Then, click on the “Manage Past Post Visibility” link. Follow the prompts and confirmation to limit all of your “More than Friends” posts from your past to just your friends.

This will include public posts and friends of friends, so it should catch all those unexpected posts. There’s no way to reverse it with one click, so make sure it’s what you really want to do.

You can also manually tweak individual items on your page. To do this, head to the box containing the post you want to feature or delete. The feature/hide buttons are right next to each other in the top right of every update.

To limit default privacy for future posts, there’s a simple choice to make on your privacy settings page.


3. Check the contact information you've posted in your About (Contact Info) page
Go to your profile and click on “About” to see your work history, education, relationships, contact details and other details. Each piece of information can be limited to friends, custom friend groups or just yourself. Edit the section according to your correct preferences, then click on the icon to the right of any piece of information in order to change who can see it.

To learn more about Facebook privacy in general, check out their Privacy page here.