In part one of our Understanding Facebook Privacy Settings, we discussed an overview of general privacy. In this entry, we’ll be discussing the details of timeline settings as well as blocking.
Timeline and Tagging
This section allows you to determine if you’d like to let Friends post on your timeline for others to see or restrict content posting with certain settings such as Only Me. If you find that friends are posting too frequently on your timeline, you may want to switch it to Only Me, unless you want to keep your timeline as interactive as possible between you and your friends.
If you opted to let Friends post on your timeline and don’t mind the frequency of their posts, you can set the audience of who can see posts from Friends. To keep your posts and information in a more closed environment, you can set it to Friends or Only Me as well, or you can keep your settings broader for Everyone or Friends of Friends. Be sure to keep in mind that the broader the audience is, the less secure your information is.
The tagging section lets you alter the audience of who is able to see when you’re tagged in a post, such as a photo, on your timeline. If you’d like to allow people to see your posts in their News Feed, you can set it to Friends or Custom, or Only Me if you do not want it to post in your Friends’ news feeds. Again, the greater the audience, the more mindful you should be in regard to the content you post.
Facebook also has a feature that generates tag suggestions for photos that others post if it thinks you are in that photo. If you want Friends to be able to receive these suggestions, you can change that option here. If you don’t want tags to appear on your behalf, you can alter these settings by turning them off.
The Review section is another area where you can utilize Timeline Review. Timeline Review is a vital tool if you have any other users (i.e. family, old friends, etc.) constantly trying to post on your timeline with unwanted content for example. Either set to Enabled to review any posts that appear on your timeline before they are visible to your timeline’s selected audience or set it to Disabled to deactivate. Setting it to Disabled will let any Friends post to your timeline without a preview of said post.
Viewing as a specific Friend is a useful tool if you’ve set up any Custom lists or have set anyone as Restricted and want to double-check on the content you’ve allowed them to see. For instance, if you’re planning a surprise event for another user and want feedback online without someone knowing, you can add them to your Restricted List and post about the event; you can subsequently view your page ‘as’ this person to view the amount of content they are able to see on your timeline. Using this in tandem with the Restricted List ensures privacy from Facebook friends you don’t want to remove, but don’t want to have access to all the content on your timeline.
Lastly, if you don’t want people adding unnecessary tags, or want to approve certain tags before they’re active on a post, you can Enable or Disable those settings here.
Blocking encompasses its own section on the left-hand side of the Facebook menu from Timeline and Tagging. This section is for added privacy from unwanted contacts from other Facebook users, apps, or frequent invites. Blocking is useful for hiding any users that are harassing you online with their messages, tags, posts, and more.
As stated above, the Blocking section houses the Restricted List and its settings, allowing you to create a list of people that you’d like to limit content sharing with. When you add a user to your Restricted List, you prevent them from seeing your regularly published content.
Another helpful feature of the Restricted List is that it doesn’t notify someone when you’ve placed them on it and works immediately. When you add someone to this list, you will remain friends, so it is less ‘severe’ than employing blocking settings.
If, however, your interactions with a user (or users) are becoming distressing or feeling like they are invading your privacy, you can add them to your blocked users list. By blocking another Facebook user, you are denying them access of being able to tag you in anything, view any of your posts, or add you as a Friend. They will also not be able to message you on Facebook or send you any invites. Keep in mind that blocked users still appear in groups that you are both members in or may appear in some applications you use together, such as Facebook games. You do also have the option of blocking someone’s messages to you if you don’t want to block them elsewhere on Facebook.
Other types of blocking settings you can use in the section include apps, app invites, event invites and Pages. Another Candy Crush request in your notifications? You can block those here. Getting invited to the same kind of party on the weekends from the same people? Block the invite. Did you buy a small item on one occasion from a local business, and now they keep commenting on all of your posts? Block the Page. Don’t like receiving the same notifications from that third-party app you used briefly in 2014? You get the idea. Blocking is a useful tool for limiting the information you’re sharing with random apps and services on Facebook, or to protect your privacy from harassment.
Stay tuned for part three of this blog post – we will be addressing Facebook’s apps and their settings.