How to Protect Your Privacy in Facebook Photos and Videos - dummies

How to Protect Your Privacy in Facebook Photos and Videos

By Carolyn Abram

As with all things on Facebook, you should take some time to think about who can see your photos and videos. This may be especially important for you if Facebook serves double duty as a professional and personal tool.

Album and video privacy

Each time you create an album, post a photo, or add a video to Facebook, you can use the Privacy menu to select who can see it. These options are as follows:

  • Public: This setting means that anyone can see the album. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will see the album, though. Facebook doesn’t generally display your content to people who aren’t your friends. But if, for example, someone you didn’t know searched for you and went to your Timeline, she would be able to see that album.

  • Friends: Only confirmed friends can see the photos or videos when you have this setting.

  • Friends Except Acquaintances: People you’ve added to your Acquaintances list will not be able to see the photo or video. The rest of your friends will be able to see it.

  • Only Me: Only you will be able to see that photo or video.

  • Custom: Custom privacy settings can be as closed or as open as you want. You may decide that you want to share an album only with the people who were at a particular event, which you can do with a custom setting.

Another way to control who sees an album or video is to share it using Facebook Groups. So, for example, a video of your kids playing might be of interest only to people in your family. If you have a group for your family, you can share it from the Share box in the group, and then only people in the group will be able to see it.

If you’re brand new to Facebook and have never changed a single privacy setting, by default, all posts you add — including photos and videos — are visible publicly. If you aren’t comfortable with this, remember to adjust your Privacy settings accordingly when you add new photos and video.

Privacy settings for photos and videos of yourself

The beauty of creating albums on Facebook is that it builds a giant cross-listed spreadsheet of information about your photos — who is in which photos, where those photos were taken, and so on. You’re cross-listed in photos that you own and in photos that you don’t own.

However, you may want more control over these tags and who can see them. To control this, go to the Privacy Settings page from the Privacy Shortcuts menu (which you access by clicking the lock icon next to your name in the left menu). From the Settings page, click the Timeline and Tagging section on the left side of the page.

  • Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook? Turning this option from Off to On means you get to make sure you want to be tagged in photos (and other posts) before anyone can see that you’ve been tagged.

    In other words, say that you tag a friend named Eric in a photo.

    • If this option is Off, as soon as you tag him, the photo is added to his Timeline and (usually) his friends will be able to see that he’s been tagged in their News Feeds.

    • If this setting is On, he has to approve the tag before it appears on his Timeline and in his friends’ News Feeds.

  • When you’re tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren’t already in it? Another way to limit who can see that you’ve been tagged in a post is to change this setting from Friends to Only Me or Custom.

    By default, if you tag Eric in a photo, his friend Dave, whom you’re not friends with, will be able to see the photo. If Eric changes this setting to Only Me, then when you tag Eric, Dave still will not be able to see that photo.

Additionally, the Who Can See Posts You’ve Been Tagged in On Your Timeline setting allows people to tag you in photos, but prevents certain groups of people from seeing those photos on your Timeline. So, if you tag Eric in a photo that you shared publicly, someone he isn’t friends with who visits his Timeline wouldn’t see that photo unless Eric allows everyone to see posts he’s been tagged in.