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How to Choose Who Can See Your Information on Facebook

The Privacy Settings and Tools section of Facebook is located on the Settings Page. The left side of the Settings page is a menu of different settings you can adjust here. If you go into the Privacy section, you can change who can see your stuff on Facebook.

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The Privacy section is broken into two sections: Who Can See my Stuff? and Who Can Look Me Up?

Who Can See my Stuff?

The Who Can See my Stuff section should look mostly familiar if you read the section on privacy shortcuts. There are three settings here, two of which are redundant with the Privacy Shortcuts menu.

  • Who can see your future posts? This setting shows you your current setting for when you create posts. This is who can see all your future posts (unless you change it). You can change this setting by clicking the Edit link on the right side of the page. A sample share menu appears where you can select a new privacy setting.

  • Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in. This setting provides a link to Activity Log. Activity Log is a granular list of absolutely everything you’ve done on Facebook.

  • Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with Friends of Friends or Public. This setting is one you probably won’t need often, but it could come in handy once in a while. Remember, this setting is needed only if you shared posts with Everyone or with Friends of Friends. Use it to change the privacy settings of all items that were previously public to be visible only to friends.

    This setting might be useful if, for example, you’re job hunting and you don’t want potential employers to find your public posts about the most recent election (because that shouldn’t matter in how they judge you as an applicant). Once you make this change, it can’t be undone. In other words, those posts will always be visible only to Friends unless you go back and individually make them public.

    To use this setting, click the Limit Past Posts link on the right side of the page; then click the Limit Old Posts button that appears.

Who Can Look Me Up?

This section concerns how people find you on Facebook. When you signed up, you entered an e-mail address and possibly a phone number. The first setting asks if people who search by that information will be able to find you. If you’re someone who has a slightly different name than your real name, consider leaving this setting set to Everyone. Limiting it limits your friends’ ability to find you.

To change this setting, click Edit on the right side of the page and use the Privacy menu to select whether Everyone, Friends of Friends, or only Friends can search for you by e-mail or phone number.

The second setting here concerns search engine indexing. Search engines like Google or Bing use web crawlers to create indexes they can search to provide results to users. So when someone searches for your name on Google, by default, a link to your Facebook Timeline appears. If you deselect this setting, that will no longer be true.

To change this setting, click edit on the right side of the page and deselect the check box labeled Let Other Search Engines Link to Your Timeline. A pop-up window will ask if you’re sure you want to turn off this feature. Click the Confirm button.

Even if you deselect the search engine indexing check box, people will still be able to search for you by name on Facebook itself. With the exception of someone you have blocked, people will always be able to search for you and get to your Timeline from Facebook Search.

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