13 tips for better Facebook privacy (easy and effective methods)

Ali Qamar Last updated: June 23, 2022
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Social media privacy and security concerns hit the headlines, almost every day. So, it is natural for you to worry about gaining better Facebook privacy.

Sneak peek at why Facebook privacy is important

Facebook is the most popular social media platform that has attracted a global user base. However, it has the worst reputation for collecting and selling users’ data to third parties. Furthermore, billions of Facebook users can access all the information you share on the site, making you susceptible to privacy issues. Therefore, it is crucial to stay protected while using Facebook. You may follow the best and essential tips listed in this guide for better privacy and security on Facebook.

Once you make yourself a part of social media platforms like Facebook, the first thing you are conscious of is protecting your data privacy.

Many people want their private information or data to stay restricted to their friends. So as you make your social media account, you choose that platform to share all your relevant data and private pictures as a memory to stay with you forever.

But at the same time, you would want those memories to stay safe and secure from hacking attacks by opting for maximum Facebook privacy. This article will help you achieve precisely that.

Since I feel you are a privacy-conscious internet user like me, first, let’s quickly go through why Facebook privacy matters.

Why Facebook privacy matters

Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has attracted 2.7 billion active users. The giant social media platform is one of the fastest-rising platforms in the world in terms of user count.

Millions of people log into this platform daily to stay connected with the whole world (or their worlds).

When you create a new account on Facebook, you must submit your private information like date of birth, country, and mobile number on the platform before proceeding further.

As per your liking, your private data should only be restricted between you and Facebook. But ironically, Facebook has already handed over such information to some third-party organizations that continuously need users’ data.

If you post something on your Facebook wall and later delete it, you never know if specific information from that post would have reached the third party already.

Hence, you must keep your data safe and protected by learning some crucial tips for Facebook privacy. 

Also, it brings a critical question: Are we trading our privacy away in exchange for an attractive social network?

Well, two major privacy concerns come to play here.

On the individual level, when you publicize your life on the internet, all your comments and posts are available for everyone, including people whom you may not want to access. Unfortunately, that’s not an ideal situation.

Secondly, looking at the broader image, Facebook’s mysterious data-mining capabilities are scary, especially when many of us do not know the exact extent.

So, that pretty much covers why Facebook privacy matters. Now, let’s jump onto the best ways to have better privacy and security on Facebook.

Essential tips to follow for better privacy on Facebook

1. Use a VPN

The first thing you need to have stealthy Facebook privacy and security is a secure method to access the internet. That involves using a combination of an antivirus installed on your device, a firewall, and a quality VPN service.

A trusted VPN ensures your connection and device safety while connecting to the internet for using Facebook or any other website.

Using a VPN is optional, but as per social media security best practices, on top of adjusting your Facebook account settings for optimum privacy, using a VPN is highly recommended.


2. Optimize your FB privacy settings

Before you choose to perform anything on Facebook, make sure you have taken all the necessary steps to optimize your privacy at the very best, and one easy way to do that is by locking down your profile.

Facebook has now taken special measures and steps to give users more power over their profile security by introducing new features.

But still, some default privacy settings are woefully inadequate in preventing a malicious third-party organization from extracting private data from your profile. To ensure your Facebook security, set the following settings on your profile:

  • Log into your FB account.
  • In the page’s top-right corner, click ‘Account.’
  • Look on the left corner to locate and open ‘Customize Settings.’
  • Select ‘Friends only‘ on everything.

That’s it; you now have the most-recommended Facebook privacy settings.


3. Limit the access to post updates

Facebook allows you to limit the audience on any post. So, for example, if you are sharing a private picture, you can define your audience. That is, you can select only those friends with whom you want to share that post.

To perform this step, visit update status, and from the drop-down menu, you have to select the ‘Friends‘ option. Next, choose the ‘Custom‘ option and mention those friends’ names with which you do not want to share the post.


4. Keep all videos and pictures private

If Facebook has been your go-to social network for some years, you are more attractive to hackers and stalkers.

And being an old Facebook user, you would have probably uploaded a substantial amount of pictures and videos on your account. Before you upload any photo or video on the timeline, you should make it private, so only your friends can view it.

“I have many images posted already; how do I make the existing ones private?” I hear you ask.

In that case, go to ‘Settings‘ and select ‘Make all past posts private,’ simple. It will save your day reviewing a thousand pictures and updating their status individually.

That way, only your FB friends could see your uploads, including those you uploaded from mobile.


5. Concealing your age

Do you want to hide your age or date of birth from your friends or hackers? If yes, head to the ‘Edit Profile‘ option in the menu and proceed to the ‘About‘ section.

Now select ‘Contact‘ and then choose the Basic Info.’ Under it, you will view the birth date you mentioned on Facebook. You can restrict it to ‘Only me‘ option so no one else can see it.


6. Hiding relationship status

Most people are also fond (or in need) of hiding their relationship status from their friends or stalkers.

If someone is stalking your profile, they probably want to know whether you are single, married, or in a relationship. That’s common sense.

To hide your relationship status, go to the ‘Edit profile‘ option and check out the ‘Family and Relationships‘ tab. Then, no matter whatsoever relationship you have mentioned, edit and set it to ‘Only me‘ to hide it from others.


7. Restricting your friend requests

Getting Facebook requests from strangers is common. Understandably, female users get more requests as compared to male users.

If it annoys you, you can easily restrict the friend request by heading to the ‘Settings‘ and then the ‘Privacy‘ tab. Now go to the option ‘How you connect,’ and select ‘Friends of friends.’ You are done.

It is among the essential Facebook privacy tips that limit the group of people that can send you a friend request.

Notably, you cannot completely block people from sending you friend requests on Facebook, but the platform allows limiting them to your ‘Friends of friends.’


8. Hide Facebook friends list

For better Facebook privacy, you can also consider hiding your friend list. That way, no one can know who your friends are.

If you want to keep your friends private, go to your profile by clicking on your name at the top menu. Then;

  • Click on ‘Privacy Settings.’
  • Next, under the ‘Connecting on Facebook‘ bold header, select ‘View Settings‘ (blue link).
  • Now click ‘See your friend list.’
  • There you would find a drop-down menu, where you need to click ‘Customize‘ first; a box would then appear; choose ‘Only me.’
  • Finally, click on ‘Save setting.’ All done.

9. Limit the rights of third-party applications

Many apps, such as Instagram and Twitter, allow you to sign up for their platform through your Facebook account. To perform this step, you need to grant individual app permissions.

You can limit the rights of all third-party apps connected to your Facebook account.

One of the most critical and little-known Facebook privacy hacks is to learn to use its app permissions kill switch feature that the social giant introduced in 2018.

The kill switch feature provides maximum Facebook privacy to users in only one step as they can remove all applications that can access their accounts.

Thanks to the Facebook kill switch, you can also disable all future third-party sites’ login using Facebook.

Find and using this pro-privacy feature of Facebook is pretty simple;

  • Head over to your profile ‘Settings.’
  • Then locate the ‘Apps and Websites‘ option. That’s where you can manage what information you are sharing or remove any websites or applications you no longer wish to use.

10. Avoid revealing private data in posts

You should avoid sharing the information or the data that is deemed private and can harm you in the future.

For example, you may never mention your mobile number and home address in the account information. Also, you should consider not uploading private pictures or videos of your family celebrations.


11. Avoid sharing information that you could delete later on

Before you think about sharing any information on your Facebook wall, make up your mind. There is no need to share any such information you might delete later.

Why that’s important? I hear you ask.

Suppose you delete something after an hour of posting it on your Facebook wall. While it will disappear from your wall, you never know that a third party might already have their hands on some (or even all) of the data.


12. Use blocking tools

You can consider using outside blocking tools to protect your Facebook account data. There are many blocking tools available to serve users of different browsers.

If you use Firefox, Facebook Container is a browsing tool that offers protection against all third-party applications.

In the case of Google Chrome, you can try Fanboy’s Anti-Third party Social add-on. It works pretty much like the Facebook Container alternative for Chrome users. For complete privacy on Facebook, you can also opt for extensions such as Unseen for Facebook.


13. Avoid sharing your password with others

Lastly, you must keep your passwords safe. Unfortunately, not paying attention to password security is a common cybersecurity mistake everyone makes, even the giant firms.

Alongside going with complicated passwords (a combination of words and special characters), never share your passwords with anyone else.


Conclusion

Admittedly, we cannot imagine a life without Facebook (and other social media platforms).

Even though many out there might boast a love-hate relationship with the social giant. But everyone out there admits it connects the lives.

At the same time, it is vital to stay secure on Facebook. As billions of people globally can access your information, you are already prone to privacy issues and security risks.

Therefore, it is essential to follow all the tips listed above for better Facebook privacy.

On top of paying due diligence and knowing how to adjust your Facebook account privacy settings for optimum security, using a VPN can drastically improve your Messenger and Facebook activities’ safety.

Besides providing you with the best-possible Facebook privacy (and internet security as a whole), a quality VPN like ExpressVPN will help you avoid virtual roadblocks usually set by employers, countries (such as China and Saudi Arabia), or schools.

Images Courtesy of Pixabay.

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About the Author

Ali Qamar is the founder of PrivacySavvy, which he started out of the sheer passion for making every internet user privacy savvy. Ali has always been concerned about security and privacy for the general public and is very libertarian. Even before Edward Snowden appeared, he has been a privacy advocate even before Edward Snowden appeared with his revelations about NSA's mass surveillance. Ali graduated with a computing degree from the leading IT college in Pakistan, so he boasts a background in this area. He has an accountable understanding of the technical sides of encryption, VPNs, and privacy. Ali is regularly quoted in the privacy and security reports by the local press. His contributions have been featured in SecurityAffairs, Ehacking, HackRead, Lifewire, Business.com, Intego, InfosecMagazine, and many more publications online. Ali is naturally attracted to transforming things.

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