Useful tips & tricks: Facebook Privacy Check

Facebook is 12 years old and during that time, it’s progressed from a way to connect US students to each other, to an integral part of people’s daily lives as a way of connecting with friends, family, businesses and brands worldwide. In the UK alone, there are over 31 million people who use Facebook, with a large proportion using their smartphone to keep up to date with the latest posts, likes and shares.

Headlines around privacy, over-sharing information affecting employment prospects, data-sharing and what ‘they’ might do with people’s data might make you think you need to check up on your privacy settings. But where do you do that, it’s probably going to take a while…? So, you make a mental note to do it that evening at home, and then get on with your busy day … checking in on Facebook later in the day, all thoughts of privacy and data sharing gone until the next headline.

At the very basic level, as an individual it’s important to be clear and in control of what information you’re sharing, and with whom, via your Facebook profile. Facebook does put the power in your hands to control who sees the posts and information you share via your profile. When you consider the types of information many of us share on Facebook, it’s important to understand and review ‘who sees what’ regularly. We’ve all wondered why we see information about people we don’t know when our friends ‘like’ their posts and wonder if that’s happening to information or photos we’re posting? The answer is Yes, it could be! But the good news is, you’re in control of that based on your own profile settings.

Luckily for us all, Facebook have provided a quick way for you to check up on your settings, but we’re not sure how many people realise it’s there. Here at Databasix, we’ve provided a quick Facebook Privacy Check-Up Step by Step guide below, so you don’t have to spend time finding it for yourself! It takes a few minutes and will give you peace of mind that the information you’re putting onto Facebook will only be available to the people you want to see it, whether that’s the general public, everyone in your friendship group or just a select few people amongst your contacts. And it’s all doable via your phone in a few minutes. Don’t put it off again, do it now whilst you’re making that coffee.

Step 1

Select the 3 lines at the bottom of your app to bring up this page:

Facebook phone menu

Then scroll down and select ‘Privacy Shortcuts’.

Facebook privacy shortcuts

Step 2

Privacy Shortcuts is where you can check out all the privacy elements easily on your phone.  Facebook privacy checkup

Start with the Privacy Check-up, which takes a few minutes to go through, a friendly little dinosaur making sure it’s not too scary!

Privacy Check Up Dinosaur


Step 3

Review who gets to see posts you make on your own profile.
Facebook Posts Sharing

You can change this for each and every post if you want to within the post itself (a tip for another time)! From the options below, most people will choose friends as standard. If you choose public, remember that anyone, anywhere, with internet access can see your posts and you should only use Facebook to share information, photos, opinions you’d be happy for everyone to see.

Facebook sharing options

Step 4

Remember way back when you signed up for Facebook and gave them information to set up your profile… No? Well, this section lets you decide who sees that information and restrict it to friends only, or even hide it from everyone but you (and Facebook!).

Step 5

This step allows you to see which Apps you’ve used your Facebook login to access and so linked the accounts. It’s a great idea at the time as it saves you setting up yet another password to remember, but it’s so easy to lose track of! Remember when we used to Throw Sheep and Send Gifts to each other via Facebook? Chances are, if you haven’t reviewed App permissions for some time you’ll be reminded of Facebook days gone by, but revoking access to Apps you don’t use any more ensures that you know exactly who has access to information about you.

Facebook App Access

Again, you can review the level of detail each App has access to, but for now, review this list and delete or update access rights

Facebook Privacy level

Step 6

Once you’ve reviewed your Apps, click ‘Done’ in the top right corner then that’s it, you’ve completed a quick review of your Privacy Settings and are more in control of who sees what on your Facebook Profile! Well done. It doesn’t take long, wasn’t as scary as you thought it would be and we agree with Facebook that you should review this regularly. No problem, now you know how.

Facebook Dino Done