• ARTICLES
SEARCH

How-To Geek

How to Lock Down Your Facebook Account

Facebook definitely allows you to easily communicate with others, but if you’re not careful, certain information you would like to remain private can be exposed. Here we take a look at locking down your profile, and how to avoid other annoyances.

Privatize Your Profile

Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends, family and other contacts online. It’s also a great place to spread personal information, pictures, and other data to everyone if you don’t use the proper settings. The first thing you want to do is change default settings under the Privacy Settings.

1-fb

Take the time to go through each of the privacy sections and make the appropriate choices for your profile.

2-fb

Go through each section to adjust who can see your information. Of course showing it to everyone will be the least private.

3-fb

Make sure to go through the settings for both Basic and Contact information.

9-fb

If you choose a custom setting you can select who sees it and even block out specific users (like your crazy ex).

4-fb

Control what information is on your wall, and what posts to your friend’s wall.

7-fb

Control what other people can see about you in searches.

11-fb

If there are certain users you don’t want to be able to contact you then you can put them in the block list.

14-fb

Avoid Quizzes and Other Snooping Apps

You might be enticed to take the multitude of quizzes and games on Facebook because you’re bored or other friends have recommended them. They can however, be aggressive data miners. So when you’re taking a quiz to find out “Who is your Celebrity Twin” the developers of those quizzes are gathering your personal data.

 sshot-2009-10-13-[22-57-24] 

It’s not a secret that your information is being shared through Facebook applications. If you go into the Applications overview under Privacy settings, it states how apps interact with your data. Here are a few of the items in the privacy statement.

“When you authorize an application, it will be able to access any information associated with your account that it requires to work.”

“When a friend of yours visits an application or authorizes it, the information that the application can access includes your friend’s friend list and information about the people on that list.”

“If you interact with an application that has been restricted to users of a certain age and/or country without explicitly authorizing the application, the application might be able to infer your approximate birth date or location because you were able to access the application.”

Under the Privacy section and Application Settings you can control what types of information can be seen through apps. If you don’t want anything shared select that option at the bottom.

16-fb

With Facebook being a central hub of social activity, you might have co-workers, supervisors, or the head boss as a contact. If you are playing games on company time, make sure you don’t get busted on Facebook. Under the same apps privacy page we were at above, scroll down a bit further and check the box under Beacon Websites. A Beacon Site where you play a game needs to be an affiliate of Facebook, but if you aren’t sure, you might want to check this box to be safe.

17-fb

Block Facebook Annoyingness

If you’re sick of seeing messages every time a friend takes a quiz or makes a move in Mafia Wars, make sure and check out The Geek’s article on how to Block Those irritating Facebook Quiz & Application Messages.

 10-fb 15-fb

Conclusion

Facebook can be a lot of fun and is a great place to keep in touch with others, but by default it shares a lot of information that you might want to remain private. These steps should help you out in protecting your privacy, and avoiding potentially embarrassing or awkward situations.

Facebook Privacy Policy

More About Beacon Sites

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/20/09

Comments (45)

  1. Troy

    Another one that you didn’t list was for ads to show your information to others. Privacy > News Feeds and Wall > Facebook Ads. This may leak some personal information about you as well and is worth selecting “No one” for both options.

  2. BeyondRandom

    Great write up! I never knew too much about the privacy settings on Facebook.

  3. BDot

    Good article, but what I don’t understand is how the Wall Privacy works. I have ‘Full Access’ friend list that contains ONLY the people i want to be able to see everything on my profile (wall posts, pic, tagged pics, etc.

    If I add that custom list to the only that (should) have access to my wall, it doesn’t appear to do anything. Using the ‘see how a friend sees your profile’ function I select a person that is not on that list, and I can still see everything.

    Does anyone know if limiting who can see your wall can be done? Hopefully I’m clear.

  4. moncia

    I cannot seem to do this:

    Do not share any information about me through the Facebook API Why can’t I select this?

    How can I do this?

    thanks!

  5. G

    Who is that great looking guy who has the Mafia Wars account???? I believe his screen name is “Cut-Throat”. Oh Yeah… that’s me LOL what up? Your great write up helped me block my crazy ex-wife and has changed my life!!!! Thanks

  6. BmcTheN3rd

    @ monica: You need to remove any and all applications you may be using. If you click the “Why can’t I select this?” it states:

    You are unable to fully opt out of sharing information through Facebook Platform because you are currently using applications built on Platform. To enable this option, you need to remove any applications you have added, and remove your permissions to all external applications that you may have used.

    Hope that helps.

  7. Harriet Beckham

    I have some how set up 2 Face Book ID’s. How do I delete the new one?

  8. spuffler

    FB just changed their privacy tools, so this post is possibly obsoleted.

    YMMV, Caveat Emptor.

  9. Marilyn

    How do you get rid of someone on Facebook that you no longer want to be a friend with??

  10. tienie botha

    Connect

  11. Geraldine Hager

    How to lock my facebook

  12. Geraldine Hager

    Lock my facebook

  13. Vlad

    There are only two ways to truly protect your privacy on FaceBook:

    1. Don’t give FaceBook any information you wouldn’t be comfortable posting on a telephone pole or shouting out in the middle of a crowded town square. It doesn’t matter what your privacy/security settings are – if it’s on FaceBook consider it accessible by everyone.

    2. Commit “FaceBook suicide” by deleting (not just deactivating) your FaceBook account.

  14. rosalie

    my facebook not open

  15. Ali Hussain

    coat is Cool Boy

  16. rinku

    rinku singh

  17. Norman Sydenham

    In regards to the facebook locking how do use lock it on,

  18. Debbie

    When I make a post or share a photo, it shows on my profile only not on the news feed. How can I get rid of the locks?

  19. shyam

    lock by face book account

  20. farah

    I LIKE TO LOCK UP MY FACE BOOK ACCOUNT

  21. farah

    I WOULD LIKE TO LOCK UP MY FACE BOOK

  22. isa maniyar

    i would like to lock my face book

  23. sara

    i dont want to conected with people so i block my account

  24. jamal uddin

    plase lock my facebook account

  25. Bien ho

    I would like to lock my Facebook account.

  26. pankaj jha

    please Lock my face book.

  27. renu

    i want that only my friends see my wall and info.

  28. renu

    i want everyone no see my wall and info.

  29. sonia

    actualy i can’t setting the facebook profile privacy please tell me the right way i can not understood

  30. jacq adeq

    Please lock up my facebook

  31. nisha

    please lockup my account

  32. SHUBHAM

    PLEASE LOCK MY ACCOUNT

  33. asia poindexter

    how can i just lock my entire wall so no one can post on it but me?

  34. Vaishnav priyanka

    My facebook account locked

  35. Eitan Avni

    Hi.

    My name is Eitan and I am a part of Wix’s Marketing team.

    Wix is a free flash website builder that allows an easy drag-and-drop user interface. Among our users you can find designers, photographers, artists, small and medium businesses, musicians etc.

    We have just launched our FB fan page builder and I would like to promote it with specific banners on howtogeek.com

    Please provide me with details such as open locations, prices and average pageviews .

    Also I would love to hear any ideas you might have on collaboration with Wix.com

    Best,

  36. dileep

    hii my name is dileep my account is repervery locked pls give a sugastion pls….im wtg for ur sugastion ..

  37. Vibhash

    Hiiiiiiiiiii

  38. Sayij .P. Sunilkumar

    hii my name is sayij, my facebook account is temporarly locked plzzz help me to unlock and get in to my face book account as soon.

  39. hatem

    this my email its locked i cant to opean it please help me to opean my email in face book

  40. king fisha

    how can delete my facebook account so that it will not appear on the screen forever

  41. mark

    somehow my girlfriend goes into some back door and can access my messages from her fb account and can print partial and full conversations….any idea how to do this or stop it from happening ??? thanks

  42. babin thapa

    hiiiiii,its me babin.my facebook acount has been locked so plzzz help me to open my facebook.

  43. Aarti

    my facebook account is locked some virus problem so how to open my account please help me

  44. monika tomar

    i want to information is secure.

  45. che samones

    how to retrieve my disabled account.i didnt do anythny?pls help me

Get Free Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 134,000 newsletter readers

Email:

Go check your email!