Privacy Settings allow individuals and groups to control who can access their profiles, information, connections and spaces, as well as degrees of access.

Many different social networks like Facebook, have a default ‘open’ setting, so if you want to restrict who can see your information it may be necessary to manually change your privacy settings. There is usually an account settings button on the site which allows you to change your settings. Be aware and regularly check your own privacy settings to ensure you are in control of what personal information other friends and users can view and to reduce the risks associated with your online interactions. 

Things to remember about privacy settings... 

  • For some social networking sites privacy settings return to the default setting (available to all) when a program update is installed. Regularly search your digital reputation to ensure your privacy settings are accurate and you are not unwittingly sharing more information than you think. 
  • Use the "View as" tool on Facebook to see what your timeline looks like to the public or a specific friend. To navigate to this tool, on your Facebook profile page click on Privacy shortcuts - Who can see my stuff - What do other People see. For more information on privacy settings, this downloadable PDF will provide you with a step-by-step guide to settings for privacy on Facebook. 
  • The once enabled privacy setting on the social networking site ‘Facebook’ that allowed users to be hidden from a search has been removed. For more information on this change, click here

When considering the level of your privacy settings, the following questions may be helpful:

  1. Do I want my page to be visible to anyone or only my friends? 
  2. Do I want to accept friend requests from people I don't know? 
  3. How much information about myself am I comfortable sharing with my friends, my family, or new friends?

Tutorial (how to set your privacy)

This video provides examples of how to change your privacy settings in Facebook regarding connecting, sharing, applications and advertisements. 

Source: GCFLearnFree.org, Facebook: Adjusting Your Privacy Settings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY8AOp9lklo&feature=youtu.be&list=PL76730A6FCC0F3DB4 (Uploaded: 26 April 2016)

Please note that the section of this video about privacy settings for Apps is no longer current, given recent changes to these settings. For more information about Apps settings on Facebook, please go here.