Social Media Facebook 261 261 people found this article helpful How to Make Facebook Private Basic privacy setting recommendations for Facebook by Leslie Walker Writer Former Lifewire writer Leslie Walker is a multimedia journalism professor who covers social media, web publishing, and internet technologies. our editorial process Twitter Leslie Walker Updated on June 05, 2020 Facebook Facebook Flipboard Pinterest Twitter Snapchat Instagram YouTube Online Dating Tweet Share Email By default, Facebook tends to make everything you put on its network public. Facebook critics see this as an invasion of people's right to privacy. However, it's easy to make changes to protect your information. These instructions apply to the desktop version of Facebook. Nusha Ashjaee / Lifewire How to Change the Sharing Default Using Privacy Settings and Tools One quick way to lock down everything you post moving forward is to set your default sharing option to Friends and not Public. When you make this change, only your friends can see your posts. To get to the Facebook Privacy Settings and Tools screen: Select the arrow in the top-right corner of any Facebook screen. Select Settings in the drop-down menu. Click Privacy in the left panel. The first item listed is Who can see your future posts? If it says Public, click that option and choose Friends from the drop-down menu. Select Close to save the change. You can also change the audience for previous posts on this screen. Look for an area labeled Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public? Select Limit Past Posts, then select Limit Past Posts again. This setting changes all your previous posts that were marked Friends of Friends or Public to Friends. You can override the default privacy setting on individual posts whenever you want. How to Make Your Facebook Friends List Private Facebook makes your friends list public by default, which means everyone can see it whether they're your friend or not. You can change your preferences from Facebook settings or on your profile page. On the Privacy Settings and Tools screen, click Edit next to Who can see your friends list? Select either Friends or Only me to keep your friends list private. You can also customize exactly who can see your friends list by choosing Specific Friends or Friends Except. Specific Friends only includes people you designate, and Friends Except excludes specific people on your list. Alternatively, go to your Facebook profile page. (Tap your name from any page on Facebook to get there.) Go to the Friends tab under your cover photo. Click the Manage button at the top of the Friends screen and click Edit Privacy. Select an audience next to Who can see your friends list? Select an audience next to Following. (Who can see the people and pages you follow?) Click the X icon to save the changes. How to Review Your Profile Privacy Settings Your Facebook profile is public by default, which means it is indexed by Google and other search engines and viewable by anyone. Privacy experts recommend you review the profile settings for each item in your profile. Select your name at the top of any Facebook screen to go to your profile. Select Edit Details in the left pane of your profile page. The Customize Your Intro box opens. Clear the checkboxes next to the information you want to remain private. This includes boxes next to education, your current city, your hometown, and other personal information you've added to Facebook. To edit an item instead, click the pencil icon. How to Make Your Profile Invisible to Search Engines To see what the public sees when they visit your profile, select the More icon (three dots) in the bottom right corner of your cover photo and select View as. The next screen will show how your profile looks to people who aren't on your friends list. This view also includes what people can see who aren't even signed in to Facebook. You can completely block your profile from showing up in search engines. Here's what to do. Select the arrow in the top-right corner of any Facebook screen. Select Settings in the drop-down menu. Click Privacy in the left panel. Next to Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile? select Edit and clear the checkbox that allows search engines to see you on Facebook. How to Use Facebook's Inline Audience Selector Facebook provides audience selectors to let you set different sharing options for each piece of content you post to the social network. When you open a status screen to make a post, you'll see the privacy setting you chose to serve as the default at the bottom of the screen. Occasionally, you might want to change this. Select the button with the privacy setting in the status box and select an audience for this one specific post. Options include the usual Public, Friends, and Only Me, along with Friends except, and Specific friends. With the new audience selected, write your post and select Post to send it to the selected audience. Change Privacy Settings on Photo Albums If you've uploaded photos to Facebook, you can change the photo privacy settings by album or by individual photo. To edit the privacy setting for an album of photos: Go to your profile and select Photos. Select Albums. Select the album you want to change the privacy setting for. Choose Edit. Use the audience selector to set the privacy setting for the album. Some albums have audience selectors on each photo, which allows you to select a specific audience for each photo.