How to Adjust Facebook Privacy Settings to Keep Teens Safe

Mother and daughter using laptop together looking at Facebook with privacy settings
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While Facebook isn't the most active social networking site for teens, there are still many teenagers who use the site to play games, connect with friends, and post status updates and photos.

Though Facebook feels like a safe online destination, it's still important to access its privacy settings to make sure your teen is protected from any dangers lurking on the internet.

Adjusting privacy settings for Facebook on the desktop and the Facebook mobile app is a similar process. Differences are noted below.

Access Privacy Settings

To access Facebook's privacy settings on the desktop, go to the top of your Facebook profile page and select the Down Arrow, followed by Settings. Select Privacy from the menu items on the left.

In the mobile app, select the three lines on the bottom right, tap Settings and Privacy, and then Settings. Scroll down to Privacy/Privacy Settings.

Your Activity

In the Your Activity section, next to Who can see your future posts? select Edit, and then select from the options. Friends is the most common option. Public is not recommended.

This section also offers the ability to limit who can see past posts, so if posts previously were public, they can be changed so that only friends can see them now.

How People Find and Contact You

Beneath Your Activity is a section called How People Find and Contact You, which includes who can see your teen's Friends list, email address, phone number, and other options. Make sure your teen edits each of these settings to Friends and not Public or Everyone.

Adjust Privacy Settings for Your Teen's Photos

Some photos, such as your current profile photo and cover photo, are always public. Privacy settings for other photos are set manually, as they are posted, so get your teen in the habit of adjusting their photo settings when they post them (i.e., make sure photos are set to be seen by Friends, and not Public).

To Adjust Privacy Settings on Individual Photos:

In the mobile app, tap a photo, tap the three dots on the top of the screen to edit the photo, and select Edit Privacy.

To adjust privacy settings on individual photos with Facebook on the desktop:

You can only edit the privacy settings for individual photos in certain albums, including Profile Pictures and Cover Photos.

  1. Have your teen navigate to their profile page.

  2. Select Photos.

  3. Select Your Photos.

  4. Open a photo, then select Edit.

  5. Select the Down Arrow next to the current privacy setting.

  6. Select the audience you want to share the photo with., e.g., Friends.

  7. Select Done Editing.

To Adjust Privacy Settings on Photo Albums

In most cases, if a photo was shared as part of an album, your teen will need to change the privacy settings for the whole album.

In the mobile app, go to the album, tap the three dots at the top, and adjust the privacy option.

To edit the privacy settings for a photo album using Facebook on the desktop:

  1. Have your teen navigate to their profile page.

  2. Select Photos, then select Albums.

  3. Select the album you want to change the privacy settings for.

  4. Select Edit from the top right.

  5. Select the Down Arrow below Privacy to control who can see the album, e.g., Friends.

Only the person who posted an album can change its privacy settings.